Review: Soar Into The Sun

22 October 2012 / 4 years 3 days ago

Source: The New PaperSOUTH KOREA - Fighter jets are a perennial obsession of the film industry.From heart-tugging historical drama Memphis Belle, sci-fi action thriller Stealth, to disaster flick Pearl Harbor, military planes have long been a feature of the silver screen.Winging way above the clouds is Top Gun. The late Tony Scott's 1986 cinematic gem is still the benchmark for all wannabe high-octane aviation movies.It surprises little that Korean blockbuster Soar Into The Sun bears an uncanny resemblance to Cruise's breakout vehicle.Pompous, flippant young pilot Tae-hun (Rain) learns life lessons after joining a new combat unit. Through hard knocks, he and strait-laced squad leader Cheol Hui (Yu Jun Sang) turn from foes to friends.Tan Kee Yun looks at the five must-have elements in a superior aviation masterpiece.SLICK TRAINING MONTAGE SEQUENCESAlmost every popcorn film about jets, past and present, boasts a slick training montage.It's de rigueur. A segment devoted entirely to scenes of flyboys diligently displaying their aerial prowess - to a pumping rock soundtrack in the background.Feel free to call it a clever time-wasting tactic (audiences these days hate to be bogged down by lengthy dialogue anyway), or simply a chance for the director to show off his production's state-of-the-art aircraft carriers.TRAGIC ENCOUNTERIn Top Gun, the turning point for Maverick (Cruise) came when his best buddy Goose (Anthony Edwards) died in a training accident.It's kind of amazing how more than 20 years later, the script writers for Soar Into The Sun did not have any fresh ideas and were content rehashing the same plot.Without giving too much away, Tae-hun matures into a disciplined air force pilot after an unexpected tragedy hits close to home.TOKEN HOT BABETo lure guys in droves to the cinemas, there has to be eye candy.That's the reason for Kelly McGillis' presence in Top Gun, Kate Beckinsale in Pearl Harbor and Jessica Biel in Stealth.These women make excellent wallflowers, especially in the latter two mediocre films, which would have been even more forgettable if they hadn't charmed the socks off male viewers.The formula works in Soar Into The Sun too.South Korean 22-year-old photogenic actress Shin Se Kyung fills the role of a spunky mechanic who steals the heart of leading man Tae-hun.TOO BIG FOR ONE'S BOOTSWomen love their boys edgy and bad.Like Maverick (Cruise) in Top Gun, Rain's protagonist Tae-hun is as gifted as a pilot can get, but he is cocky, reckless and hates toeing the line.Riding his motorbike into the sunset - now, why do pilots always have to be associated with speedy two-wheelers? - Tae-hun is a picture of James Dean-esque rebelliousness and nonchalance.Of course, to complete the whole irresistible, swoon-worthy package, his shirt has to go at some point.In an intense, heated scene where he faces off against arch-rival Cheol Hui, Tae-hun bares his sweaty, muscular frame and ripping abs.Maverick's bod was admittedly hot too, but erm, he is so last century.TEAMWORK, MOTLEY CREW STYLE!It takes all kinds of quirky, eccentric personalities to make up a combat air squad - in the movies, that is.Memphis Belle was a huge ensemble piece and it threw up so many misfits in spiffy uniforms; from a dour, humourless Captain (Matthew Modine), to a gambler with fine vocal chops (Harry Connick Jr).Likewise, Top Gun had scene-stealer Val Kilmer as uber cool, talented pilot Iceman.Soar Into The Sun is not without a bevy of fun characters too. Stand-outs include rookie Jong Suk (Ji Seok Hyun), who faints in the plane, hilarious bootlicker Tae Bong (Jeong Kyeong Ho) and single father Dae Seo (Kim Sung Su), who has to strike a balance between work and family life.

korea, movie
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