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Blu-ray Review: The Divine Fury

November 19, 2019

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

South Korea has proven to be a bit of a powerhouse in recent years when it comes to producing unique genre mashups, with the most prominent example of this obviously being the films of Bong-Joon Ho.

Now we have The Divine Fury, a slick hybrid of exorcist film and action movie from director Joo-Hwan Kim, that mixes demonic battles between good and evil with polished action sequences. And for the most part, this somewhat grandiose movie is pretty entertaining in a pulpy sort of way.

The film’s protagonist is Yong-hu (Seo-Jun Park ), an MMA fighter who turned away from his Catholic faith following the death of his police officer father (Seung-Joon Lee) as a young boy. When he develops an unexplained wound on the palm of his hand, that mirrors the wounds of Christ, Yong-hu goes to Father Ahn (Sung-Ki Ahn) for help.

Father Ahn is a local priest who moonlights as an exorcist, and Yong-hu gets caught up in one of his battles with a demon, discovering that the wound on his hand gives him the power to literally burn out evil spirits. At this point, The Divine Fury becomes a bit of an unlikely buddy movie between Yong-hu and Father Ahn as they team up to treat cases of possession, and the scenes between them are among the best in the film. Yong-hu spends much of the movie questioning whether or not he even believes in God, still made at Him for not stopping his father’s death, and the idea of watching someone doing exorcisms while struggling with his own faith is one of the most interesting aspects of the story.

The film is somewhat bloated at over two hours, and not all of the supporting characters and subplots are equally well fleshed out. The main villain, a slick young rich guy named Ji-sin (Do-Hwan Woo) who is possessed by a powerful, serpent-like demonic entity, feels underwritten. He is somewhat awkwardly introduced partway through the film during a sequence that feels like a distracting departure from the main storyline, and the whole movie feels like it could have been streamlined a bit.

But The Divine Fury still offers enough worthwhile moments to recommend it for genre fans. The film has a pulsating techno score and features some stylish action scenes, including several visceral exorcism sequences that draw deep upon their horror influences. While not perfect, this is a pretty good exorcist movie that works as both an exploration of faith and a slick action flick, and I actually wouldn’t mind seeing the sequel that is alluded to at the film’s end.

The Blu-ray also includes a “making of” featurette, behind the scenes footage, and a trailer for the film.

The Divine Fury is a Well Go USA release. It’s 130 minutes and not rated.

Street Date: November 19th, 2019

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