Tense and thought-provoking, addressing the deep division between the two Koreas from a personal perspective without sliding into mawkishness.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Look, if you are going to make a comedic disaster movie, that's fine, that's great, and it often works! Good for you!
...but, just between you and me, it would be better NOT to randomly kill off a kid for no particular reason and then, in the middle of these comedic characters celebrating their escape in faintly comedic ways, have that kid's devastated mother break down for 5 seconds before immediately moving onto the comedic epilogue.
If you did something like that, I would begin to wonder if you are not a little bit... heartless? Tone deaf? Definitely a little bit stupid.
This was a movie. It had a start, a middle, and an end. It had some protagonists and antagonists. It had a score, and some acting, and the scenes were edited together using professional editing software. There were some special effects as well. It was directed by J.A Bayona. It will make money. We will be back in 2-3 years from now to do it all over again.
Relentlessly artificial and horribly written (the story beats are so predictable - time for an argument, time for a crisis of confidence, time for a win! - and the mawkish finale completely unearned thanks to the cheap jump in time that completely glosses over who did what and thus lets the audience wallow in a hollow melancholy without having to question either of the main characters' decisions), this is basically saved by the relentlessly energy of the two leads,…