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Beyond Song Joong Ki: 5 Reasons Why You Should Experience “The Battleship Island”

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The Battleship Island is an intense epic film not to be missed!

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(VIVA International Pictures Facebook Page)

The South Korean blockbuster war film The Battleship Island has finally sailed to the Philippine big screen on August 30.

Directed by the acclaimed Ryeo Seung Wan (The Veteran, The Berlin Fires), The Battleship Island features a star-studded cast composed of Hallyu actor Song Joong Ki (Descendants of the Sun),  Hwang Jung Min (Ode to My Father, The Veteran) and So Ji Sub (The Master’s SunOh My Venus).

Inspired by historical facts, the movie tells the story of Koreans who were forced drafted into labor slavery by the Japanese occupation on Hashima Island (dubbed the Battleship Island).  It spotlights on the mass escape plan of the Korean captives on the horrible hell they were in under the hands of the Japanese.

The film was pre-sold to 113 countries in the North America, Europe and Asia among others even before its July 26 premiere in South Korea, making it one of the most anticipated Korean flicks.

The film distributor, CJ Entertainment, mentioned that one of the main reasons of sealing the interest of overseas film distributors can be attributed to having South Korea’s top actors in it.  The fact that this is Song Joong Ki’s much awaited comeback to the big screen after his global hit series Descendants of the Sun is a major factor.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(VIVA International Pictures Facebook Page)

Song did not disappoint his million fans as he gave an outstanding performance in his latest mega project.

HelloKpop attended the movie’s premiere night on August 29 in the Philippines, hosted by VIVA International Pictures. We witnessed how Filipino fans screamed as Song’s innocent yet firm looking character Park Mo Yeong entered the scene as a selected soldier of the Korean Liberation Army, tasked to break into the Hashima Island to rescue a key Korean independence movement figure. The Battleship Island showcased the actor’s forte coming from a military themed drama, and at the same time showing some bad-ass yet honorable charisma.

The film is somehow being hyped as a blockbuster because of Song’s presence.  But it is really beyond Song Joong Ki!

Here are the absolute reasons why you should experience The Battleship Island while it is here in the Philippines, or whenever it hits your home country!

1. The intense play of the power house cast is a must-see.

An all-star cast historical film is an understatement. The intensity of portrayal of the lead characters put together is the biggest win of the movie. The culminating scenes which feature all the main and supporting characters will give goosebumps to everyone.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(CJ Entertainment)

2. The great cinematography takes you to the real Hashima Island.

It is a fact-based historical film set on the Japanese era of Korea. The director and production team were keen to recreate Japan’s Hashima Island in a filming set in Gangwon Province as accurate as possible. The result is a great cinematography that you can actually feel you are inside the coal mines, and right, being enslaved.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(CJ Entertainment)

3. Endearing father-daughter relationship and gangster-comfort woman romance are notable side stories.

Amidst the slavery and bloody setting, there are two notable side stories that can warm your heart.

The strong father-daughter relationship, built by music and slavery, is both a lovely and tear-jerking scene to behold right to the end. Hwang Jung Min plays the role of Lee Kang Ok, a musician lured to hell slavery with her daughter So Hee, played by Kim Su An.  How they survived ‘The Battleship Island’ is one of the notable strengths of the film.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(VIVA International Pictures Facebook Page)

A gangster leader-comfort woman subtle romance in this kind of film is definitely not a cliché. So Ji Sub just nailed his gangster-turned-heroic slave role as Choi Chil Seong, along with a rare kind of woman to love Oh Mal Nyeon a long-time comfort woman, played by Lee Jung Hyun.  Their first scene is hilariously good as well as the unanticipated romantic angles.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(CJ Entertainment)

4. The child from “Train To Busan” Kim Su An’s brilliant performance!

Kim Su An is a familiar face in the Korean film industry as the child actress who played the daughter role of Gong Yoo’s character in 2016 global hit film Train to Busan. This year, this child once again hit it big with her brilliant outstanding performance in the movie.  From the very first scene she came in, you will already love her and cry with her along the way. Kim’s innocence and courage as the young So Hee gives positive light to the tough plot of the movie.  If there is one actor who deserves an award for this film, Kim deserves it all.

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(VIVA International Pictures Facebook Page)

5. Record breaking ticket sales and praised by movie critics.

The movie opened big in the South Korean box office with a total of about a million tickets sold (970,516 tickets), and has beaten the previous record of last year’s major box office hit Train to Busan (872,673 tickets).  It even hit a million USD milestone at the US box office in two weeks since its opening day in American theaters.

Apart from the box office success, movie critics have high praises for the film. Quoting Film Journal, “It’s a kind rarely done today. It’s a must to experience and see it for yourselves while the film is here in the Philippines.”

The Battleship Island, Song Joong Ki, Ryoo Seung Wan, 5 Reasons to Watch Battleship Island

(VIVA International Pictures Facebook Page)

The Battleship Island is now showing in cinemas nationwide in the Philippines. It is rated R-16 by the MTRCB.  For the list of cinemas, readers can check out VIVA International Pictures’ official Facebook Page.


VIVA International Pictures is the official film distributor of The Battleship Island in the Philippines.

Special thanks to Ms. Arlene Garcia of VIVA Films for the invites to the premiere night.

Event covered by Pau Arellano and Reg Cagampan of Hellokpop.

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