Volcano High

Dir: Tae-gyun Kim
Starring: Hyuk Jang, Su-ro Kim, Min-a Shin, Hyo-jin Kong

One can only imagine the pitch for this one was "It's Harry Potter meets The Story of Ricky." New kid Kyeong-Su (Jang) arrives - after his eighth expulsion - at the titular school where, he soon discovers, it seems everyone is a martial arts expert, pupils and teachers alike. The various factions - rugby team, weightlifting club, kendo society, not to mention the staff room - are all after a secret book which will give them power over the faculty. When the principal and head boy are taken out of the picture, the underlying tensions break loose, testing the hero's vow not to get into trouble [three guesses whether he does!]

There are any number of fabulous, very cool moments here, and great characters abound, not least Kim as the head weightlifter, who pulls a vast repertoire of entertaining faces. However, after about the third shamelessly Matrix-inspired fight sequence, the interest level of these begins to decline, and it becomes apparent that the film-makers don't have very much else in their locker, from a fisticuffs point of view. And, boy, is there a lot of it. This is a shame, as the other, small-scale stuff is more impressive - the very first scene demonstrates the possibilities, with Kyeong-Su using his mental powers to turn around a piece of chalk hurled at him by a teacher, and blast it back. Less of the mindless violence, and more of this kind of imaginative violence, would have left us feeling a smaller degree of unfulfilled potential.


School for scandal
See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]