The high-concept South Korean action thriller “Spiritwalker” plays like a complex concerto of car chases, science fiction, and hand-to-hand combat fighting. It’s a challenging film that’s also skillfully crafted and exciting to watch.
A man (Yoon Kyesang) wakes up after a car crash, unable to remember anything about his life. He stumbles around in a state of confusion, not understanding where he is or why he’s there. Things get even more complicated when he figures out that every twelve hours, he regains consciousness in a new body. Along the way, he’s pursued by law enforcement and faces attacks from dangerous criminals. Now he must piece together his true identity, something that’s not easy without a memory.
It’s a very complicated story with elements of “Memento” and “Total Recall.” The story takes a great deal of focus and concentration and is sometimes difficult to keep up with, especially early on. The film jumps right into the deep end from the beginning, and it’s not easy to keep track of who’s who and what’s happening within the mystery. There are a lot of characters, but things get easier to follow as the story progresses and the ideas come together.
As with many Korean action films, the cinematography is polished and the direction (from Jae-geun Yoon) is impressive. The fight choreography and stunts are top-tier. The car chases are extremely well-executed, and the shootouts are exciting. There’s a lot of action, which makes up for a surprisingly thin plot. This isn’t a deep exploration of identity. Of course, all of this is wrapped into a highly illogical body swapping story, so suspension of disbelief is required.
By: Louisa Moore