Escape From Mogadishu review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA has made a name for themselves with the Asian film market and while I am all about the martial arts flicks it is always interesting to see what other films they have. The latest Escape From Mogadishu, taking on true events stars Kim Yoon-seok, Huh Joon-ho, Zo In-sung, Koo Kyo-hwan, Joung Man-sik and Kim So-jin with director Ryoo Seung-wan at the helm. Can this film do justice to this intense true story or will fail to make it out unscathed?
Escape From Mogadishu follows civil war that exploded in 1991 between rebel factions and Somali government forces under dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, rival North and South Korean diplomats are trapped in the capital city, surrounded on all sides by what would emerge as some of the deadliest fighting of the conflict. With no aid from either Korean government—and no means of communicating with the outside world—the diplomats’ only shot at survival may require uniting with bitter adversaries to escape.
I always look forward to these kinds of flicks because more often than not the truth of it all is more insane that the fiction. I was expecting a bigger action spectacle from the promotions, but understand why it isn’t really. Make no mistake there is action here, but this is about survival and not fighting back. The story is fairly slow at first as it sets up the scenario and we meet all the players. It does take a bit before much happens, but its all setting up a finale that is fun and exciting worth the payoff.
I really dug that they kept it on the more realistic side and never tried to make any of the characters suddenly a bad ass action star and instead people just doing what they can. When the civil war begins to erupt most of the film
is focused on getting the North and South Koreans into the same location which shifts into the expected distrust and infighting. This is an interesting element of interactions knowing the issues they have with each other, but willingness to come together to try to survive.
The final sequence to the film is a fun crazy idea that is just a convoy of cars covered with anything they could find (books, wood, pillows, etc.) to make a mad dash out of the warzone with a hell fire of bullets at every corner. This is well done, clever and works great for the overall payoff of the build-up. If this is really how they made their way out then more power to them for the bravery and in-genius ideas to attempt this at all.
While the film wasn’t the action packed feature I had expected it still does a good job at building the narrative and giving some crowd pleasing action while still telling this crazy real life story. Check out Escape From Mogadishu available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Well Go USA.