Steel Rain: Summit Review: Jung Woo-Sung Saves Korea Peninsula From Doomsday In Topical, Unsettling Submarine Thriller

Time to brush up your East Asia geopolitics!

Steel Rain: Summit (NC16)

Starring Jung Woo-Sung, Kwak Do-Won, Yoo Yeon-Seok, Angus Macfadyen

Directed by Yang Woo-Suk

The 2017 action thriller Steel Rain starred Jung Woo-Sung as a North Korean agent and Kwan Do-Won as a South Korean presidential aide racing against time to prevent a nuclear war orchestrated by hardliners in the Hermit Kingdom. 

Jung and Kwak reunite in this ‘complementary’ sequel, playing different characters entangled in yet another tale of political intrigue. This time, Kwan is the rogue DPRK soldier raising hell, who abducts the leaders of South Korea (Jung), North Korea (Yoo Yeon-Seok) and the US (Angus Macfadyen), whisking them away to a nuclear submarine. 

Not everyone onboard is in on the coup, though. This can only mean one thing: Mutiny! 

While there’s plenty of claustrophobic commotion and screaming matches, Jung and Kwan’s mismatched couple energy in the first Steel Rain is sorely missed here. It's never dull but at times it feels like a East Asian geopolitics lecture — nothing wrong with that —  that looks at North and South Korea’s capricious ties to China, the US and Japan. (Quick Google ‘Dokdo Islands Dispute’!) 

Elsewhere, Scottish actor Macfadyen (Braveheart) offers some comic relief as the curiously-named POTUS Smoot, a boorish buffoon and crappy statesman who’s clearly modelled upon the current White House occupant. 

But I stop short at calling this a fun movie: In light of mounting tensions in the South China Sea, Summit is newsy and eerily believable. Too believable. (***)

Photo: Golden Village/Purple Plan

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