"If you like superhuman-themed, anime-style movies you'll definitely want to check this one out."
Volcano High (2001)
AKA: Volcano High School; Whasango; Wha San Go
Director: Kim Tae-Gyun
Producer: Cha Seung-Jae
Cast: Jang Hyuk, Shin Min-Ah, Kim Soo-Roh, Kwon Sang-Woo, Gong Hyo-Jin, Jung Sang-Hoon, Kim Hyung-Jong, Chae Shi-Ah, Hhuh Jun-Ho
Running Time: 100 min.
Plot: See Equinox21's review below.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Somewhere in movie land between The Matrix and Dark City lies a live-action anime-style movie called Volcano High. It's high on style, low on color (for cool effect), dripping with CGI, and lots of excellent fights. If you can make it through the rather talkative first half, you'll be treated to lots of superhuman type fights, with flying, flipping, fighting and "energy balls" aplenty.
Kim Kyeong-su (Hyuk Jang) is a new transfer student to Volcano High, and tries to stay out of trouble (as this is his 10th school, having been expelled from 9 others). But as fate would have it, he's tossed into the middle of a great conflict between the students and the new teachers (decked out in Matrix style garb, complete with black leather trench coats). Everyone is searching for a "secret manuscript" that will grant even greater power to its owner. In addition the teachers are enforcing their dominance over the student body. As the students rebel against the teachers, they are treated with more and more brutal punishment.
As I mentioned, the first half is rather slow, simply establishing characters and setting up the plot. Once the second hour rolls around, however, you get some seriously cool and fun fight scenes accompanied by a killer soundtrack. Lots of cool effects are utilized to represent the superpowers of the main characters, including CGI and a filmmaking technique commonly referred to as "wire-fu". There is very little color in the movie, only some blacks, grays and very little red, but it all looks ultra stylish and cool. If you like superhuman-themed, anime-style movies you'll definitely want to check this one out.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 8/10 (docked points for the rather slow first hour)