Kingdom: Ashin of the North: Movie Review

"Kingdom: Ashin of the North" took its time to fully reveal its dark and complex story. By the time it hit the right strides, it was a little bit too late to really salvage the film. Outside its pacing issues, fans of the "Kingdom" series will definitely appreciate the film more with the surprisingly deep and emotional dive into the origins and the reasons why of the zombie outbreak.
For years, the Pyesa-gun area and its secret ginseng herbs have been forbidden. The reasons given are mysterious in nature but the area has been known to cause gruesome deaths to those who dare enter it. But when her mother is near death, a young Ashin tries to find a plant in Pyesa-gun that has been known to resurrect the dead. But before she is able to give it to her mother, her whole tribe is decimated by the Pajeowi. Orphaned, she seeks the help of Commander Min Chi-Rok to seek revenge against the Pajeowis. The commmander reluctantly agrees. As the years pass by, Ashin learns how to fight and survive on her own. Eventually, she will uncover the truth and will push her to the brink of deathly  and unrelenting vengeance to those who wronged her.
With us being non-Koreans, we found ourselves quite lost with the narrative of "Kingdom: Ashin of the North" especially in its first half. For example, there were several factions mentioned Pajeowis, Chupajins, Jurchens, and Joseon that were completely foreign to us. It doesn't help that the narrative, as anticipated, featured complex political mind games that made the struggle even harder. There's actually nothing wrong with this approach but for those unfamiliar with "Kingdom" the series, going into the film blind is not something we recommend. The film eventually finds its footing in its last thirty minutes when the action ramps up and Ashin completes her character evolution. Let's just say that the film perfectly showed that there is always two sides to a coin and "Kingdom: Ashin of the North" will make you root for the character of Ashin from start to finish. Another positive for the film was its production and sets. The film was physically and emotionally dark so some might struggle to see what's going on on-screen. But for us, it had the perfect mix to heighten up the mysteries, revelations, and fights. Overall, "Kingdom: Ashin of the North" had its struggles but at the end of the day, it was able to provide the complexities, intrigue, and action that "Kingdom" the series is known for in one swift stroke.   
Rating: 3 and a half reels


Why you should watch it:
- complex and deep, it will leave fans of the show extremely satisfied and moved with its revelations

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the first half was slow and tedious
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