The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful (2019)

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The game of Go and the world of violent consequences are back in this sequel to the 2014 Korean action thriller.

As a young boy, Gui-soo has learned his father lost everything in a game of Go and took his life in the process. As a result, he is forced to learn the game from Hwang Duk-yong, who agrees to teach Gui-soo the game in exchange for Gui-soo’s sister Su-yeon cleaning for him. However, something terrible happens and Gui-soo is forced to escape. Deciding to use what he knows, he finds himself an outcast when he arrives in Seoul. Eventually, he meets Heo Il-do, a master Go player who becomes Gui-soo’s mentor. An incident forces Gui-soo into hiding when Il-do is murdered by a ruthless criminal.

Years has passed and now an adult Gui-soo has determined it is time to seek revenge on the masters of the game who are responsible for the death of his father. He meets Mister Turd, a lowly nightclub owner who has connections to the players who destroyed Gui-soo’s life. As Gui-soo begins his quest for revenge, what he doesn’t realize is that a mysterious wanderer is also in town who has his own quest of vengeance to handle. As Gui-soo is ready for his final challenge, what will happen when he crosses paths with the mysterious wanderer?

2014’s The Divine Move was a surprisingly dark action thriller revolving around the board game known as Go, or Baduk as it is called in Korea. The film, revolving around a Go player seeking revenge for the death of his brother by challenging those responsible in a game that would result in violent consequences was something fresh and invigorating for action film fans. Never would have anyone imagined that there would be a sequel to this film, but lo and behold, it has arrived in this film, which serves as sort of an in-name sequel that starts out set in the 1990s up to the present day.

Where we had Jung Woo-sung in the original film, we now have veteran Kwan Sang-woo in the lead role of Gui-soo, whose lost everything as a result of his father’s gambling. Kwan plays the adult version of the role as a man of a few words. With everything he had been through, as seen in the first 30 minutes of the film, it is clear why Gui-soo is a man who lets his actions do the talking for him. Much like the original film, it starts out with the game of Go against his opponents, but in some cases, they can lead to disastrous consequences for the losers, including losing a limb through a paper cutter that thankfully is not seen; or in the case of one opponent, losing everything he owns.

There is a very nice twist to the story as we see a mysterious disfigured wanderer arriving to the scene as he confronts those who are close to Gui-soo at first. Played by Woo Do-hwan, the Loner, as he is called also challenges his opponents to Go, but adds a deadly twist in the point will lead to a mechanism that when activated will shoot out a series of deadly metal pellets to the loser. As for Kim Hee-won, his 70’s hairstyle and mannerisms make him the comic relief in the form of the Master Turd (yes, that is his actual translated name). The third act is quite impressive as it involves both Gui-soo and the Loner finally crossing paths and a challenge that has to be seen to be believed as it involves the final opponent Gui-soo must face to get his revenge.

The Divine Move 2: The Wrathful is almost as good as the original, despite a few small flaws here and there. However, the third act does make up for those flaws and there are both exciting and shocking moments all around a simple board game. If you like the original, chances are you’ll like this one as well.

WFG RATING: B

CJ Entertainment presents a Mays Entertainment and Azit Film production. Director: Lee Khan. Producers: Park Mae-hee and Hwang Geun-ha. Writer: Yoo Seung-hyeop. Editing: Shin Min-Kyung.

Cast: Kwon Sang-woo, Kim Hee-won, Kim Sung-kyun, Heo Sung-tae, Woo Do-hwan, Jung In-gyum, Won Hyun-joon, Park Sang-hoon, Shin soo-yeon, Hong Ki-joon, Stephanie Lee.

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