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My Way (Blu-ray Review)

30 Aug, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

Well Go USA
Box Office $0.07 million
$24.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for intense realistically graphic sequences of war violence.
Stars Dong-gun Jang, Joe Odagiri, Bingbing Fan.

Inspired by a true story, My Way tells of two rivals who helped each other survive, though in different ways. While directed by Je-kyu Kang (Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War), don’t mistake it for only another war film.

The gripping story involves two men — one Korean and one Japanese — who grew up together, affected by the tense Japanese occupation of Korea. 

The good-hearted Jun-shik (Dong-gun Jang) dreamt of being the next Sohn Kee-chung, the first Korean to win an Olympic medal, in 1936. His rival as a child was the cold, unmoving Tatsuo (Jo Odagiri), who came from the wealthy Japanese family for which Jun-shik and his family worked.

As men, they both end up in the Japanese army — Tatsuo as an officer seeking honor and respect, while Jun-shik was forced to enlist as a form of punishment.

Running is no longer the competition between them, but rather it’s the ability to survive during World War II. They go from fighting for Japan to fighting for the Soviets after being captured, to then fighting for the Germans after being captured again.

Throughout Tatsuo’s harsh treatment of Jun-shik, Jun-shik never turns his back on him, having several chances to leave him for dead. Tatsuo eventually melts his cold exterior, and the two find they have only each other amid the flying bullets and explosions that have claimed so many of their comrades.

The story is a moving one, and film is beautifully shot with the war scenes reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan brought to stunning vision on Blu-ray.

The bonus materials, however, don’t stand up to the feature. They offer little of note or interest about the making of the film. With a movie that was inspired by a true story of Koreans captured while fighting for the Germans during World War II, I expected to see some more details on the real story, perhaps something to inform what was real and was creative license.

Still, My Way has a lot of heart and is a story with themes that would speak to most anyone.

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