Steel Rain

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Steel Rain
Steel Rain (강철비).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Hangul강철비
Hanja鋼鐵비
Revised RomanizationGangcheolbi
Directed byYang Woo-suk
Produced byPark Joon-ho
Kim Tae-won
Sun Young
Screenplay byYang Woo-suk
Based onSteel Rain
by Yang Woo-suk
StarringJung Woo-sung
Kwak Do-won
Music byKim Tae-seong
CinematographyLee Hyung-duk
Edited byLee Gang-hee
Production
company
Mofac & Alfred
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Netflix
Release date
  • December 14, 2017 (2017-12-14)
Running time
139 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
LanguageKorean
English
Japanese
Box officeUS$32.6 million[1]

Steel Rain is a 2017 South Korean action thriller film directed by Yang Woo-suk, based on his 2011 webtoon of the same name.[2][3] The film stars Jung Woo-sung and Kwak Do-won.[4][5][6][7]

The film opened in South Korea on December 14, 2017, and was later released worldwide on March 14, 2018, on Netflix.[8][9]

Plot[edit]

In North Korea, Eom Chul-Woo (Jung Woo-Sung), a former agent of the North Korean Special Forces is assigned the mission of executing the Supreme Guard Commander, Gwang Dong-Park, and the minister of the State Security Department, Du-won Kim, by chief director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), Ri Tae-han (Kim Kap-Soo), after he receives the information that the two leaders are planning a coup d'état on Victory Day. Meanwhile, South Korean senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security Kwak Chul-woo (Kwak Do-Won), who is divorced from his wife, Su-hyeon, receives a phone call and congratulates Kim Kyung-young on winning the election for President of South Korea. When he finishes talking on the phone, he notices that his ex-wife has picked up his kids and left without his knowledge. At night in Pyongyang, Eom drives a KPA truck and runs an official state car off a bridge with the State Security Department minister inside the vehicle. Both fall into the cold water, but Eom manages to get out.

The next morning in the South, Kwak meets Mr. Li (Kim Myung-Gon), who is the ethnically Korean head of the Korean branch of the Chinese Ministry of State Security in a restaurant. He shows Kwak a photo of a deceased State Security chief in China and a State Security minister in the North. It officially claimed to be a car accident because there are no news and evidence that the Great Leader executed them both. However, like Ri, the RGB chief director, Li also received intel of the coup that will happen in the North.

Back at the Blue House, Kwak talks to incumbent South Korean president, Lee Ee-seong (Kim Eui-Sung), about the coup that may happen in the North due to power struggles. Kwak wanted to inform the president elect but Lee says he'll eventually find out about the coup.

Back in the North, Eom enters a restaurant and was given a bag by someone that is filled with a uniform, mobile phone, money, and a blueprint of a building. Back at home around late night, Eom told his wife that they are sent to the North Korean embassy in Cuba. Eom says one last goodbye to his family before he starts his mission.

The next morning, in the industrial complex of Kaesong, Eom enters an air vent, notices a bag with a sniper rifle inside. He takes it out and waits for the arrival of Gwang Dong-Park with the Great Leader for a North Korean-Chinese event. The next morning, Eom wakes up and notices three KPA trucks arrives at the place to check the area for any harmful devices. Somewhere in a cemetery, at a funeral of the state security minister, Park launches the coup through phone. Somewhere in the Northern Gyeonggi Province of South Korea, a group of North Korean infiltrators disguising as South Korean soldiers, hijacks a US Army MLRS vehicle rolling down a path. When the Great Leader arrives, Eom notices that Park did not come with him. Eom tries to send a message to his superior, Chief Ri, but it failed to send. While in the air, a US Army helicopter was notified that the MLRS vehicle went missing and had to locate it. When they find the MLRS, it launches two missiles into the air. With no response from the vehicle, the pilots are ordered by command to destroy the vehicle.

After Eom's text message failed to send to his superior, he notices the bodyguards push the Leader down and the vent Eom is inside collapses. Eom gets up and sees scores of dead bodies of civilians at the event that were instantly killed by the MLRS strike. He then sees a missile in the sky aiming at them, which detonates, killing most survivors with a cluster bomb strike. Witnessing the killings with his own eyes, he then sees a KPA truck with soldiers led by Captain Choi Myung-Rok, going rogue, claiming that the United States are responsible for the attack by killing one of the survivors. As the coup goes on, Eom along with two schoolgirls takes the Great Leader to South Korea in a toy company van along with other representatives of Chinese companies from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs that are escaping the strike and the coup for medical treatment and requests the government there to save him.

While in South Korea, the incumbent president Lee and president-elect Kim are told by NIS director, Park Byung-jin, that the ROK-US Combined Forces Command wants them to go to DEFCON Three after the US Army's MLRS was seized and fired Steel Rain bombs on Kaesong. They also discovered the bodies that were in the vehicle were wearing their uniforms but with fake nametags. Kwak meets up with CIA Station Chief, Joanne Martin, asking her why she leaked the situation to the media about the US military missile attack on Kaesong. Kwak was said that US military weapons were used on South Korean soil to launch an attack on North Korea and they needed to clear their names. She is convinced that a coup has broken out and the Great Leader is dead. She manages to silence the press so they don't think that the United States is responsible. She says into Kwak's ear that their wars begin with propaganda.

Eom arrives at a small clinic in Ilsan, asking one of the nurses to save the Leader. However, the nurse turns out to be an obstetrician (Eom does not understand what it means) who only specializes in pregnancy and a women's reproductive system, but still begs her to save the Leader and promises he will not hurt her. As the operation goes on, Eom calls his commander, Ri, that he's with the Great Leader but that he is in critical condition. Ri says to Eom that he'll send a few men to protect him and the Leader and Eom must bring his body back in one piece or otherwise Park's coup will succeed, convince everyone that the Great Leader is dead and allowing Park to declare war on South Korea, Japan, and the United States. The nurse stops the operation as she says she has no experience of saving someone from gunshot wounds and tells Eom that they would need to go to a hospital to save the Leader. Eom then notices a van arriving outside, knowing it's the men that his superior sent him to escort him and the leader out of the country. However, it turns out to be a group of assassins led by Choi, who was the soldier that he seen earlier in the incident in Kaesong, are actually there to kill him and the leader. Eom eliminates them and injures Choi by striking his thyroid with a scalpel and drives the Leader to a hospital in an ambulance. He then tells the obstetrician to find a place to treat the Leader in secret. They arrive at a plastic surgery clinic somewhere in Seoul and Eom promises to Kwak's ex-wife, Su-Hyeong, that he will not hurt her.

Kwak wakes up at his workplace and is told by his co-worker that the three dead bodies they found at the crime scene at the Areum Obsterics clinic appeared to be North Korean agents. They also received a report that the North Korean Leader was there when it happened. He calls his ex-wife to see if there is anything happening at the clinic she works at, but there is no answer. He then calls his kids and asks them if their mom came home. They say they haven't seen her. Kwak then decides to go and investigate the clinic and tells one of his staff members to send the Special Forces if he does not answer his phone within an hour. Kwak arrives at the clinic, finding Eom ,who ties up him, Su-hyeong, and the obstetrician. Eom then turns on the TV and sees that his country declared war and calls his superior, Ri, about why they declared war and that the Leader could die if he's not treated in a larger hospital. Ri states that the Supreme Guard Commander, Park, took control of Pyongyang and it was the only way to stop the frontline troops from forcing their way into the city. As Eom is about to leave the room after talking to Ri, he is surrounded and arrested by a group of 707th Special Mission Group soldiers. He begs Kwak to save the Leader so he and the North Korean frontline troops can advance to Pyongyang to stop the coup. As a response to the news from North Korea, President Lee declares martial law in the country.

The next morning, after refusing to interrogate with the NIS agents, Eom asks Kwak to tell his chief that they should talk to his RGB commander, Ri Tae-han. Director Park denies Eom's request and continues on his way to a meeting with the North Korean military leaders. They arrived there secretly, stopping at a farther distance, observing them in binoculars. However, they are unable to see if Chief Ri is in the meeting. When Eom tries to call his commander, a gunshot is heard. Eom finds North Korean snipers in the hills covered with bushes who ambush the meeting by shooting one of the agents and officials but manage to escape in a convoy. During the shooting, Kwak calls the military on high alert to come to his location by tracking him. Eom and Kwak then goes after the convoy and notice they're being chased by two North Korean agents in a dump truck. Eom shoots both agents inside the truck, but crashes. Eom gets out of the vehicle and rescues Chief Ri out of the crashed official state car but instead it turned out to be Gwang Dong-Park, the Supreme Guard Commander, in the vehicle. Eom shoots Park as he was told that he will be considered as a hero and his family will be giving good favor. However, the snipers from earlier shoot Chief Park and Eom. As the snipers are about to escape, they are killed by a ROK military helicopter. The military arrives and surrounds the area to search for any remaining North Korean infiltrators.

Somewhere at night in North Korea, in a military underground base, Chief Ri turns out to be the instigator of the coup as he shoots his own troops in the base while finding out the whereabouts of the Great Leader iafter watching TV. Ri then sends Choi and his team to infiltrate the hospital by first instigating an incident at the Blue House to lure the ROK military there, leaving less troops to guard the hospital. When Choi's team is taken out, he is the only KPA soldier left in the building to take out the Great Leader. However, he then gets into a battle with Eom again but this time injures Eom and threatens to shoot him if he gets any closer to him and the Great Leader. However, the body turns out to be that of former NIS Director, Park, instead. ROK troops surround Choi and kill him.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, the US Air Force, and the Japanese Self-Defense Forces launch nuclear missiles into North Korea. However, their missiles are discovered by a People's Liberation Army radar base in China, which alerts the rogue KPA troops to respond by launching a nuclear missile towards the sea instead of Japan or the US. The missile intercepts the nuclear missiles and explodes. After hearing what happened at sea, Eom then tells Kwak to publish false information that the Great Leader is dead, asking him the longer he stays in the South, the more dangerous it will get. South Korean president Lee wants the US to launch a second nuclear strike but the US Secretary of Defense declines his attempt since the attack plan has been uncovered and they will not take any additional risks.

With the Great Leader remaining in hospital in South Korea, Eom returns to the hideout and thanks Kwak for everything he's done. Eom goes to the underground and captures Chief Ri after discovering he was the real traitor of all of this time. He then presses a button on a watch that was given to him by Kwak, which turns out to be a signal for the ROK Air Force to launch missiles into the base. Ri breaks free from Eom and tries to flee, but KPA troops shoot him and leave him bleeding on the ground. He says his last words to his friend, Kwak, "Take Care...Everyone". The missiles successfully reach the target area, killing Eom and the people remaining inside. Kwak bursts into tears after seeing Eom sacrificing himself.

After the coup and the conflict has ended, Kim has become the new president of South Korea and announces peace talks and reunification with North Korea. The South Korean officials bring the Great Leader in an ambulance to a meeting with other North Korean officials for peace talks and a peaceful reunification. The ending then shows the Great Leader was later brought back to his country.

Cast[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards Category Recipient Result Ref.
54th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Director Yang Woo-suk Nominated [10]
Best Actor Jung Woo-sung Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jo Woo-jin Nominated
Best Screenplay Yang Woo-suk, Jung Ha-yong Nominated
23rd Chunsa Film Art Awards Best Actor Jung Woo-sung Won [11]
38th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Top 11 Films Steel Rain Won [12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Steel Rain (2017)". KoBiz.
  2. ^ "스틸레인". Daum 웹툰 (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  3. ^ SPOTTOON. "STEEL RAIN". Spottoon. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  4. ^ "JUNG Woo-sung & KWAK Do-won Back Together for STEEL RAIN". www.koreanfilm.or.kr.
  5. ^ Herald, The Korea (26 September 2017). "Upcoming film imagines a North Korea upended by coup". koreaherald.com.
  6. ^ "'Steel Rain' takes 'cool-headed' view on inter-Korean relations, says director". Yonhap News Agency.
  7. ^ "'Steel Rain' beats 'Star Wars' at weekend box office". The Korea Herald. December 18, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  8. ^ "Netflix Embraces Korean Content". koreatimes. 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  9. ^ "Steel Rain | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 2018-03-31.
  10. ^ "제54회 백상예술대상, TV·영화 각 부문별 수상 후보자 공개". JTBC (in Korean). April 6, 2018.
  11. ^ "[23rd 춘사영화제 종합]'남한산성' 최우수감독상 수상…최희서 11관왕 달성". Herald Corporation (in Korean). May 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "[공식]이성민·한지민 '영평상' 남녀주연상…'1987' 작품상". Sports Chosun (in Korean). October 22, 2018.

External links[edit]