It’s the year 1388, the Ming Dynasty is on the rise in China and there is much chaos on the Korean Peninsula, so much so that mercenary pirates and roving gangs of bandits do what they do in such times … they fill the void.
So when the royal seal — from the Ming emperor — goes missing on its way to Yi Song-gye, the hard-charging founder of the forthcoming Chosŏn Dynasty in Korea, a great opportunity awaits for anyone who can recover the missing trinket.
This is the premise of Well Go U.S.A.’s Jan. 20 DVD and Blu-ray release of director Lee Seok-hoon’s The Pirates.
The film is in limited release in the domestic market and has thus far generated ticket sales of $415,775 … the ARR comes in at 137 days. In Korea, The Pirates, pulled in over $64 million at the box office (very impressive).
With lavish production values, superb cinematography and an interesting blend of violence and comedy The Pirates certainly lives up to its billing as the Korean version of Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s even a mock version of Jack Sparrow, Jang Sa-jung (Kim Nam-gil — No Regret, Portrait of a Beauty, etc.), who finds himself in competition with the beautiful Yeo-wol (Son Ye-jin — A Moment to Remember, Blood and Ties) to recover the royal seal.
Oh, did we mention that the object that has caught everyone’s interest just happens to be “residing” in a very peculiar place … the belly of a whale. Seriously!
The Pirates is great fun … and a great adventure. Presented in Korean with English subtitles.