Rampant (Chang-gwol) 1.0 stars

Rampant (Chang-gwol) movie poster

Kim Sung-hoon directs this unweildy mashup of political drama, zombie flick, and superhero movie. You’ve got your Crown Prince, executed at the outset for plotting an uprising against his vain and middling father. (He rebels for the sake of the kingdom, don’t you know, but what precisely will be gained by the ensuing bloodshed isn’t quite clear, not even after his co-conspirators take up their fallen leader’s cause.) You’ve got your virulent zombie virus, brought in on the same boat that supplied guns to the would-be rebels. (Symbolism?) And you’ve got your reluctant, self-indulgent, but supremely sword-savvy Young Prince (fetchingly clad in white, the better to show off the spilled blood of his enemies). There’s a lot of talk about the duty of a king, but it’s muddled stuff: should he preserve the royal bloodline or lay down his life for his people? The two rarely go hand-in-hand, but never mind, there’s zombies to kill, and a big-budget action-hero formula to follow. Also muddled: the sense of place, the sense of stakes, and the sense of zombie power and peril. 2018.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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