The Childe - Blu-ray Review

Michael Scott

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The Childe


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Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :2stars:
Final Score: :3.5stars:




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Movie

Not gonna lie, I’m actually happy to see a Well Go USA title that ISN’T one of their “Hi-yah!” line of streaming films. Not that they’re bad, it’s just I’ve really been looking for some fresh blood in the water and Park Hong-jung’s (I Saw the Devil) action mystery is just that. A little fresh blood in the water from South Korea with a a bit of fun involved.

The film is a bit of a brain twister at first, utilizing multiple story lines and multiple points of view that are shaded from the viewer at first sight. The film opens up with a half Korean, half Filipino (termed “Kopino” as local slang in the film) young fighter by the name of Marco (Kang Tae-joo) who is looking to make some money so that he can finally give his mother the surgery she needs to live. His wish seems to be granted when his long lost Korean father contacts him and asks him to come back to Korea with him. Hoping that his obviously rich father could help out, Marco agrees, only to find out that things are a WHOLE lot worse than he previously imagined. Assassins are after him for some reason, and each set of assassins seems to have their own motivations and their own orders from differing people. Dodging bullets and punches, Marco finally learns that the reason he was sent to Korea was so much bigger than just a father wanting to see his son, and may cost him his very life.

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I won’t spoil the ultimate plot reveal that comes half way through the film, but needless to say it’s a pretty rote and well worn twist in the “you think your family’s messed up?” sub genre of films. The flick itself is actually quite nicely paced, and I had a lot more fun with it than I initially expected. Marco himself is a solid enough character as he tries to find out why the Han family seems to want him so much, but it’s really the mysterious unnamed assassin who seems to know a LOT more than he’s letting on (played by Kim Seon-ho) who steals the show. He dances a fine line between light hearted comedy and serious killer, exuding that sort of suave and “cool” vibe that makes for a fun anti-hero (sorry, that’s not much of a spoiler).

The film itself is quick paced, full of action and some nice fights throughout the course of the near 2 hour runtime. I was actually a bit surprised that Marco didn’t get a chance to kick some serious butt for most of the film considering he’s making ends meet as an underground fighter. He tends to do a lot of t he running in this film, with the mysterious Assassin taking the brunt of the action work. However, the third act of the film starts to fall apart a bit once everything is being tied up. The entire story with the Han family and why Marco is over in Korea is tied up rather nicely, but the reveal behind the mysterious assassin and the subsequent “this is how it ends” portion of the movie feels a bit tacked on and silly. It just doesn’t seem to work as well considering how well the rest of the movie went. Not the end of the world, but one of those frustrating bits that had me wishing more energy was put into that final loose end.




Rating:

Not Rated by the MPAA




Video: :4.5stars:
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The Childe sports a rocking 5.1 DTS-HD MA track in the original Korean language (although some English is spoken as Marco is fluent in both languages) that features some blistering bass during the action sequences and wildly kinetic use of the surround channels. Dialog is spot on perfect as can be, and gunshots have that massive earth shaking boom to them that makes these sort of action movies so fun. The gonzo nature of the gunfights make for some of the most incredibly immersive and intense sequences in the film, wrapping the listening in a literal cocoon of action. One thing I must make not of. While the film is balanced and shows some solid dynamic range, it’s not wildly fluctuating from the center line as much as I thought it would. The range is wide, but never overly wide to where I had to bump the volume up or down, and seemed content to push the boundaries only so far. All in all, an EXCELLENT mix.









Audio: :4.5stars:
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The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is probably the highlight of the entire film, as it is an extremely encompassing and nuanced 5.1 mix. The film starts out in the forest, with the cracks and creaks of the woodland animals lighting up the mains and surrounds, punctuated by sharp gun shots, or the slapping of water while Jacob tries to drown Beth. The thumps and “bumps” from Adam Bzowski’s score keep things interesting, but the film’s audio slows down a bit during the second act. However, the 3rd act with Helena returning to the woods once more brings out the full bodied and robust sound design that was present for the first 30 minutes of the movie. Bass is tight and punchy, and it’s a well balanced mix. I have zero complaints.












Extras: :halfstar:
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• Previews
• Theatrical Trailer












Final Score: :3.5stars:

The Childe sports some great action, some exciting car chases, and well worn tropes that have been done a million times before in other films (including one of Well Go USA’s own with The Traffickers years ago). BUUUUT, it still is a load of fun and it put a smile on my face more than I expected it to. I’m gonna say that the end is a tad overly cliched, but the points up to it kept me more than entertained and glued to the screen. The Blu-ray itself looks and sounds fantastic (albeit with the typical near nonexistent extras outside of trailers found that is typical of Well Go USA releases). Worth it as a fun watch in my opinion.


Technical Specifications:

Starring: Kim Seon-Ho, Kang Tae-Ju, Go Ara, Hvuk-Hyun Kwon, Kang-woo Kim
Directed by: Park Hoon-jung
Written by: Park Hoon-jung
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: Korean: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Korean DD 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Studio: Well Go USA
Rated: NR
Runtime: 118 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: January 16th, 2024
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Recommendation: Decent Watch

 
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