NewsLetter DailyWeekly
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Robot Taekwon V" + Giveaway

2014/04/24 | 881 views | Permalink

For a full disclaimer, "Robot Taekwon V" is a seventies-era cartoon about a giant robot. I could go on about the historical relevance, about what a big deal it was that Korean children had their own national robot cartoon instead of having to borrow from Japan, abut the massive sentimental value attached to all this. But when it gets right down to it, this is typical goofy seventies action cartoon stuff. Perhaps somewhat better written than average, although that's not much of a compliment

Still, I'm sure there are people reading this review right now who are in to that kind of weird stuff. For that viewer, here's some interesting facts about the setting in this movie. The bad guy is evil, but he might have been talked out of it if a large group of grown men hadn't started laughing at him for the most childish reason imaginable. The robots are obviously totally impossible, though enough technobabble is sprinkled about to provide plausible deniability. And most of the action is actually person to person.

I have to admire "Robot Taekwon V" for that- the whole concept of the movie is giant robot fights, and yet director Kim Cheong-gi deliberately emphasizes martial arts rather than robo weapons. It makes sense, really. Taekwondo was, in the seventies, still a nascent sport and, unlike robots, a completely real thing that young Korean children could excitedly do for themselves. A sports activitiy that is distinctly Korean- like the titular robot.

Unfortunately I still have to qualify the animation as just being above average for the time it was produced. There are flaws and brief bits of incomprehensibility in the action sequences. A child might not notice the difference, but watching the movie from an adult perspective the errors are pretty difficult to ignore. Characters rarely ever actually hit each other. They brawl, to be sure, but right when the hit's about to connect someone just falls down. Kim Cheng-gi does have the sense to only replay the high quality shots, so the construction of imperfect parts is decent, at least.

The style of the animation as well is sometimes jarring. While our lead characters are drawn in a serious expressive style, the unnamed ones tend to look a lot more crude, mainly just a set of cartoonishly drawn circles. Other bits, most obviously any scene that feature animals, look outright Disneyesque. The robots, well, they just look like robots. To someone who pays a lot of attention to style, the effect can be jarring.

I don't mind so much, personally. Yes, "Robot Taekwon V" is a goofy cartoon from an older generation, and the only particularly exciting novelty about it is that it's a Korean movie with a special local history. There is an introductory crawl explaining that history, but unfortunately there's no English subtitles for it on the DVD. So, it's am imperfect package. But then that's the story for all sorts of weird historical oddities. "Robot Taekwon V" has plenty of novelty value. While it doesn't have much else, for some, that may be enough.

Review by William Schwartz

"Robot Taekwon V" is directed by Kim Cheong-gi, written by Ji Sang-hak and voiced by Kim Young-ok.


Available on DVD from YESASIA

DVD Single Disc (En Sub)


Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's Film Review] "Robot Taekwon V" + Giveaway"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss



 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.


Remove ads

Sign up




Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations