“Why are you losing a war? That’s because you don’t know why you’re fighting.”
The Front Line is a war drama about the last battle of the Korean War that determines the border between the south and the north. It focuses on the story of the soldiers from both sides of the fence. It shows the harshness of the war as it lingers on. Good thing is that the end is near.
Right before the ceasefire is signed, Lieutenant Kang Eun Pyo (Shin Ha Kyun) was sent to the front lines to investigate a murder. He has to do his job while his side battles it out with the Northern army. The ownership of the hill changes side each day.
It is in the front line where he meets his friend Kim Soo Hyuk (Go Soo) and his platoon. As the day of the ceasefire draws near, he builds up his case but the fighting has also become more vicious. Hundreds of soldiers die until Eun Pyo claims the land for the South.
The Front Line also shows the soldiers belonging to the North side. One of the more memorable characters from the north is their girl sniper Cha Tae Kyung (Kim Ok Bin). Apart from her being the only eye candy in the movie, her character is the perfect example of how senseless the Korean War is about. It is like killing your own family.
I expected The Front Line to be a brutal war movie. Instead I get to see guys crying while carrying big guns. But it delivers its message loud and clear. War is stupid and in the end, everyone loses. It shows the sacrifices made by the soldiers in the field as well as how humans can still be good even if faced with atrocities.
I’m not an expert with regards to the Korean War, so I will not tackle the authenticity of the story. But overall, The Front Line is good war movie. It gives faces to the statistics you just read in the history books.