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The Restless – Review November 11, 2009

Posted by Cello in Movie Reviews.


The Restless is a fantasy adventure film set in a world of souls that have passed away long before they are reincarnated. This latest Wuxia foray from South Korea combines the elements of love and romance, fantasy and terrific swordplay in an eternal battle between good and evil.  This film exhibits top-notch visuals to render their fantasy elements, and the abundant action are orchestrated with wire-fu and large doses of impressive CGI.

After battling a fierce group of demonic forces, Yi-Gwak collapses from the effects of a poisoned wine glass. He wakes up later to find himself in a strange and unusual city, a place that he has never seen before. As he talks with a friendly stranger, he slowly comes to the conclusion that he has awaken in a Buddhist purgatory, where spirits remain for 49 days until they are reincarnated back to Earth. So the story mainly revolves around love, which almost gets a moral coloration in this flick. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or evil, love is shared by anyone and therefore it’s also the ray of hope for mankind. The problem with the screenplay is that when there are no fights, the proceedings are slow-paced that it almost stops to a crawl. Strong characters are definitely needed to form an attachment to its viewers.


The astounding CGI effects and set designs, awesome action, superb martial arts choreography are the elements that carry this Wuxia swordplay fantasy tale. When a movie with high-flying sword duels and extensive CGI takes me three sittings to get through, something is very wrong. If you like fantasy martial arts films and don’t care much about a good script than you should certainly check out The Restless. Otherwise skip this one because you will feel extremely restless, no pun intended.

The Restless may not offer much in originality which would make it stand out, it makes the film a little forgettable. On the action-entertainment side of the coin, the film doesn’t disappoint. Despite being a love story, somehow it lacks emotion or attachment to all the characters. I didn’t feel any lost or sadness as these characters faced hardships and sufferings. Like Casshern, the plot is secondary to the visuals and moments into the film I grew worried, unsure if the film was going to be a comedy or try to play this scenario serious and I wasn’t sure which side I wanted to root for. A mess of a film, but it’s pretty to look at at least.



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