RAMPANT the Zombie TV Movie Review

Hello beautiful people, I know it’s been a while since my last post, I apologize for that and the delay…

I didn’t have too much time to work on any reviews because of life, my work load increased as well since holidays are around the corner… and I also took some time for myself as well…

Luckily…I have a couple of reviews that you can say were at a back burner, need a refresher, look over and to be worked on more.  Either way I apologize for being behind schedule on posting this review. But on the bright side, I was able to touch this up …  To make sure I gave all of my thoughts on this…especially since this is the first review I am posting in while…in this month of December!!! Hehe… Woohoo!!

Disclaimer: Pictures of the show, cast are not mine. And just add, info on the cast I got from Wikipedia, MyDramaList and Asian wiki.✌️  By the way, just to sneak in, you can find this Korean tv movie on Netflix

Anyways been a long time coming and finally presenting…

Rampant Korean Zombie TV Movie Review

First off… please don’t take what I say seriously… just with a grain of salt, like with music. I do not have a professional degree in film, literature and television… Not at all…nada zilch degree. But I love movies books and tv shows, most especially if they capture my interest somehow. Despite the lack of degree on this area, I will still do this review as a movie lover… And just to clarify too, sorry if at some points I might run on with my words or have any grammatical errors… but I will definitely be honest about my thoughts and feelings in this review.

Moving on… I will first talk about the cast Hyun Bin, Lee Sun-bin & Kang Dong-gun

Hyun Bin is a South Korean actor, who is best known for his leading roles is popular tv dramas such as 2005’s My Name is Kim Sam-soon, 2009’s Worlds Within, 2010-2011’s Secret Garden and 2018-2019’s Memories of the Alhambra. He is also known for his films like in 2017’s Confidential Assignment and The Swindlers. The role the shot his to stardom was opposite Kim Sun-a in 2005’s romantic comedy My Lovely Sam Soon! This won him Top Excellence Award at the MBC Drama Awards.  Following that he starred in a film that was a hit among teenagers in A Millionaire’s First Love.  He was then casted in the drama The Snow Queen that was unsuccessful. But drew critical acclaim for his portrayal of a sociopath in the gangster saga, Friend, Our Legend.  Then in 2010’s Secret Garden, he experienced a career resurgence! Thus, getting recognized for his performance. Following that, he started doing overseas projects which he got recognized at the 2010 SBS Drama Awards and the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards for his performance. This led to more projects for him before his career was put temporarily on hold for two years since he has to do his mandatory military service. He then upon return from his military service, he made his acting comeback in April 2014 with The Fatal Encounter…unfortunately he received criticism for his flat tone and lack of emotion while the film itself also received negative reviews. This was followed by another role as a man with a split personality disorder whose two personas both fall for the same woman in the 2015 romantic drama series Hyde, Jekyll, Me. Unfortunately, this drama too…didn’t do well…it was a commercial flop and recorded low ratings.  In 2017, he had another career resurgence with his return to the silver screen in the successful action-thriller film Confidential Assignment which he received positive reviews for his action scenes and comedic performance.  It was then followed by another successful film that became a box office hit for him, the crime action film The Swindler.  Then in 2018, crime thriller The Negotiation, he played the villain for the first time, which was then followed by zombie blockbuster Rampant…which by the way is the focus of this review. Anyways…also in 2018, Hyun Bin made his return to the screen with fantasy suspense drama Memories of the Alhambra with Park Shin-hye, which is hailed as one of the highest rated Korean dramas in cable television history. Hyun was praised for his seemingly indifferent but humorous depiction of his character.  And now in 2019, he is set to play a North Korean commission officer in romance drama Emergency Love Landing.

In Rampant, Hyun Bin plays Lee Chung, the crown prince Lee Young’s younger brother who was previously left out of Joseon’s order of succession and grew up abroad in the prosperous Qing.  He returned to Joseon on the request of his brother to bring his brother’s wife Gyeong-bin and unborn child to safely… But upon his return to Joseon, he and his companion Hak-su are attacked by Joseon assassins sent by Minister Kim and other ministers who are plotting a coup. Their attack drew the zombified villagers to them. Lee Chung and Hak-su were then assisted by the Jemulpo partisans which include Park Eulr-young, former lieutenant to the crown prince and his niece, Deok-hee, a skilled archer whom he awkwardly flirts with. After taking care of the assassins and the zombified villagers who were drawn to the fight, the supporters ask him to vie for the throne, which he vehemently refuses yet it is obvious that he is sympathetic and does want to help the villagers while he does his past to fulfil his brother’s request to bring his family to safety.

Kang Dong-gun is a popular South Korean actor.  He is considered as one of the highest-paid actors and celebrity endorsers in Korea. He also topped consistently in surveys by industry insiders and most bankable stars. He is best known for his leading roles in films like 2001’s Friend and 2004’s Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War. He starred in several films and dramas since then… such as the tv drama A Gentleman’s DignityDangerous LiaisonsSuits, a several part historical period zombie action film Rampant which is currently on Netflix and which I am I making this review for. And his latest…Arthdal Chronicles that is released this year on Netflix which I recently did three reviews of. Please go check the reviews out.

In Rampant, Kang Dong-gun plays the Minister of War, Kim Ja-joon, who holds influence over the king and frames the Crown Prince Lee Young’s act of buying European arquebuses as a act of rebellion when the prince’s intention is really to drive Qing away. Upon knowledge of Lee Chung’s return to Joseon, he and his cohorts sends assassins to king Lee Chung as part of their plot for a coup. He also uses the zombie chaos in his plans to gain the throne.

Lee Sun-bin is a South Korean actress and singer, who is well known starring in Squad 38, Missing 9, and Criminal Minds.  She first started off in the entertainment industry by joining a girl group JQT following Minsun’s departure in September 2011 before the group disbanded in 2012. Before she started off her acting career, she was a CF model and made several music video appearances. Her first acting role was in a Chinese historical drama called Saint Wang Xizhi and participated as a contestant in a singing show Finding Liu San Jie. She rose to popularity portraying as a gold digger in OCN’s hit drama Squad 38 and participating in several variety shows where she was praised for both her singing and dancing. This led to her other projects including Sketch a crime thriller drama, which I did a review of sometime last month.  She also starred in the zombie file Rampant which is currently available on Netflix, which I am currently doing this review of.

In Rampant, Lee Sun-bin plays Deok-hee, a member of Jemulpo’s local partisans and niece of former lieutenant to the crown prince, Park Eul-ryoung. She along with the local partisans assists Lee Chung and Hak-su in defeating both the assassins and the zombified villagers that were drawn to the Lee Chung’s, Hak-su fight with the assassins upon their return to Joseon. After helping defeating both the assassins and the zombified villagers they’ve came upon, Deok-hee and the other supporters asks Lee Chung to vie for the throne, which he vehemently refuses since he doesn’t want the throne but he does want to help the surviving villagers and fulfill his brother’s request to bring his family to safety. Deok-hee is Lee Chung’s love interest.

Now…I will move on to the short summary of Rampant…

Since this is a summary…there will definitely be spoilers so if you are interested in the film, haven’t watch it yet and don’t want to be spoiled…scroll down to my overall review…LOL…Peace…

Anyways back with the short summary of Rampant…

The story begins in the Joseon dynasty where its king Lee Jo is viewed as overly submissive to the nearby Qing dynasty of China. Thus, leadings to underlying plots of the story…

The king’s, the Crown Prince Lee Young, engages in a plot to buy European guns to drive away the Qing. But this plot is exposed by the Minister of War, Kim Ja-joon, who holds influence over the king and frames it as a rebellion against the king, when in truth the Minister of War Kim Ja-joon is in fact the one who really wants to take over the throne… Kim then meets the Europeans and learns that they have brought zombies (called ‘night demons’). Thus, this leads to more sinister plans devised by Kim Ja-joon.  While Kim Ja-joon works on his evil plans…the crown prince commits suicide as atonement so that his subordinates will be spared from the being accused of treason but before he commits suicide he sends a letter to his disposed from the order of succession younger brother, Lee Chung, who is currently living in Qing. At the same time as the crown prince’s suicide, the Joseon forces destroy the European ship and retrieve the guns, but a Joseon soldier is bitten by a zombie. The soldier returns to his village, where he turns and spreads the Zombie contagion…

These zombies crave human meat and blood, attracted by sounds, repelled by sunlight, and can only be stopped by decapitation or piercing of the heart.

In his letter to his younger brother Lee Chung, the crown prince request for his wife Gyeong-bin and unborn child to be brought to China for their safety. Lee Chung had beforehand been left out of Joseon’s order of succession and grew up abroad in the prosperous Qing, despite that Lee Chung has no desire to gain the throne so being left out of the order of succession is a good thing for him.

Lee Chung returns to Joseon with his companion Hak-Su… Upon landing in Jemulpo, they are attacked by Joseon assassins sent by Minister Kim and his cohorts…the other ministers…. who are plotting a coup to ovethrow the king and take control of the throne. The battle sounds draw an attack by zombified villagers which led to Lee Chung and Hak-Su being assisted by local partisans… Amongst the local followers include Park Eul-ryoung, former lieutenant to the crown prince, and archer Deok-hee. The Jemulpo followers ask Lee Chung to become crown prince, but he rejects the idea, wanting to return to China. While spending time with the supporters, Lee Chung awkwardly flirts with Deok-hee.

The only survivor of the would-be assassins is captured by Kim because he is infected. The ministers arrange for a concubine to be infected. She later turns and infects the king. Lee Chung arrives at the king’s court, where he requests an army to crush the zombies. The king initially agrees, but the ministers instigate him to withdraw the order, claiming that there is no zombie outbreak, only a civil rebellion. The Jemulpo supporters are arrested, while Lee Chung and Gyeong-bin are ordered to attend a banquet for a visiting Qing delegation.

At the banquet, the king fully turns into a zombie, and is slain by Kim Ja-joon, who then unleashes zombies there in an attempt to kill members of the palace and the Qing delegation, then take over the throne with all potential opposition gone. However, Kim Ja-joon is bitten by a zombie, leading to the ministers turning on each other in a mad bid for power. Only Kim Ja-joon survives; he chops off his own hand in order to slow the infection, then declares himself king.

Gyeong-bin convinces Lee Chung not to flee, but to protect the people, so Lee Chung, the royal guard, and his Jemulpo allies freed from prison continue to fight to prevent the zombies from escaping the palace and attacking the capital. Lee Chung and his allies make a plan to draw the zombies together into a massive fiery explosion at the palace. Kim Ja-joon kills Hak-Su and an infected Park Eul-ryoung, thus preventing the explosion. Lee Chung continues the same plan, battling a horde of zombies and the half-infected Kim, eventually succeeding by using a flaming arrow from Deok-hee.

Kim Ja-joon is then slayed by Lee Chung in a duel. Reinforcements of soldiers and commoners arrive to destroy the rest of the zombies. Lee Chung recognizes that through the power of the people, the ruined Joseon has promise after all, and elects to stay rather than leave for Qing.

Finally, I will talk about my thoughts and overall review…

Just to clarify this will be a somewhat short review since I decided to give a summary of the movie instead…

First off, I totally adore and love the cast…especially the main cast Hyun Bin, Lee Sun-bin and Kang Dong-gun and as well as the actors who played Hak-su and Park Eul-ryoung…respectively Jeong Man-sik and Jo Woo-jin! I truly felt they played the roles well and really kept me hooked into the historical fiction zombie film!

Yes, there were some slow parts particularly in the first five to ten minutes of the film but I still felt that this movie was worth the watch.

I love the idea of a “zombie apocalypse” during historical Korea, especially if at one point one gets into the Walking Dead…for while…and Train To Busan…I really thought that this is a fresh take for a zombie movie! Not sure if there are other “historical fiction zombie movies” but I honestly liked it!

This movie gives me the urge to see Korean drama Kingdom, which is another historical zombie theme! Which I will also make a Drama Review of as well! Most especially since I heard it was an awesome show and that a season two will come out next year in 2020!

Overall, I thought this zombie movie was amazing! It is worth the watch and if you are interested in checking it out, it is available on Netflix!!!

Anyways if you made it up to here… Thank you so much for taking the time to read my review of Rampant!!!  Hopefully, this review builds your curiosity in checking out this awesome Korean Zombie movie!!!

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