Thursday, July 08, 2010

Haeundae (Review)

Haeundae aka Tidal Wave

Haeundae (2009)

Directed by Je-gyun Yun

I'm not going with a long review of this movie as it was 2 hours long which was an hour and half longer than it should have been.

Haeundae is Korea's biggest budget movie in their film history at $11 million dollars. The disaster movie has never really been done outside Hollywood so it was nice to see some other countries take a crack at it.

So how does Tidal Wave rate?

It's not too bad. The movie for the first hour and 20 or so minutes makes you care about a certain group of characters who live in the sea resort town of Haeundae. We got a fisherman and his crush, a jokester, a scientist and his stubborn wife, a rich business man, a lifeguard and a rich party girl. Honestly, aside from the lifeguard/party girl story line, I could have cared less about the others.

What I wanted to see was mass hysteria, shit blowing up, bridges crashing into the sea and people drowning. And you do get it in the last 30-40 minutes. The special effects aren't too bad with scenes of the mega tsunami hitting the beach and the skyscrapers getting flooded by a huge tidal wave. People are being washed away, trapped in flooded elevators, stuff is getting wrecked and people are dying. It's your typical Hollywood fare, but you know...more Koreany.

Douchebags you wanna see die, don't. Heroes you empathize with, sacrifice themselves and our main characters make it out OK. It's all utterly ridiculous but then again, the tsunami in 2004 killed over a thousand people in a few hours so maybe it's not too preposterous. Who knows?

Korea takes a crack at the disaster movie and they are right up there with any 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow but on a smaller scale. It's a little too long though and they should have had more action. I was a little bored but when the waves are attackin, I was rooting the mega tsunami to do its worse (that's so wrong I know)

Next time your at the beach, you'll be more inclined to make sand castles than head out to the water after seeing this flick.


Check out the trailer below.


  1. Korean films (and hell lets profile, Asian films in general) tend to be overly long. Funny, but it's typically a bigger hurdle for people than the subtitles.

  2. I really love this movie. The characters are well developed and I cared about what happened with them. Special effects were well done and enough destruction to satisfy the disaster junkie that I am.