This week, I was lucky enough to catch the Korean Movie Night screening of Fatal Encounter. Now to be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to this one as (seen by the previous review) I’d already watched this movie and hadn’t enjoyed it. However, I found myself hoofing it to Tribeca because 1) it was a free evening in a darkened, blessedly a/c filled theater and 2) I was meeting a friend and some of the people from the Kdrama/Kpop Meetup group. So despite my utter disinterest in actually seeing my movie again, there I was. And you know what? I’m really glad I went. I came out of the theater with an entirely new outlook and appreciation for the movie.
Yes, lots of what I said in the original review was correct, about the imbalance of power, and how horribly anyone without power are treated (merely as worthless pawns by those with power), the sluggish pacing, this is all still there. This time, if anything I hurt more and was angered more for these innocent pawns, who had absolutely no choice in life, except to do the evil work of those around them.
What I think I missed the first time around, was the point of view of the king. Knowing now what I do about the actual person that the character was based on, I can see not only his plight, but can see that he truly did care about the ‘lesser’ people around them. Before, I thought that there was no point to the movie, even his going to the assassin camp at the end, to save the kids and kill the bad guy. As the bad guy said “Do you really think this will do anything?” and maybe he’s right, the Nurans could have just build another compound, just because the king had won that round, didn’t mean he was going to win the game–but that wasn’t the point. By listening closer to the narrative at the end of the movie, we realize that it is this small step that will lead to a bigger step, each good and just thing that he does will lead to him being a better man, a better king for his people.
He has no control over what the bad guys do. The only thing he can control is his own actions, control the sort of king he wants to become. Through the movie we got to see him learn and start the transformation to become a king who could rule over his people, rather than just be pushed around by the warring factions around him.
I’m not sure if I’ve done a complete about face on the movie, but my thoughts had changed enough for it to go from “STAY AWAY” to “Hey, this movie is pretty good.” So go forth, and make your own judgement on it–and if you get a chance to see it, let me know what you think–I’d be interested in hearing what you have to say.
**Oh, however, I will not take back the whole, we should have seen his discussion towards the end of the movie with General Go thing. Or, if he had reconciled with Go and, in turn, got ten the entire military on his side, why the whole last part of the movie had to happen. Yeah, that still burns a bit.