Operation Chromite | South Korean war movie features vintage heroics - and a gruff Liam Neeson

Operation Chromite Lee Jung-jae
(Image credit: © Signature Entertainment)

The odds were 5000 to 1. One was all they needed.

In 1950, with the Korean War hanging in the balance, a small South Korean commando team infiltrates enemy territory in the communist North to steal military secrets and prepare the way for a UN naval invasion.

Based on real events, South Korean war movie Operation Chromite is an unmistakably old-fashioned affair, full of stiff-upper-lipped derring-do that wouldn’t look out of place in The Guns of Navarone or Where Eagles Dare. There’s some hokey dialogue, too, not least in the English-language scenes whenever the action cuts away to the invasion fleet commanded by Liam Neeson’s gruff General MacArthur.

But Korean heartthrob Lee Jung-jae, as the undercover team’s leader, makes an unflinching hero, while Lee Bum-soo oozes sadistic evil as his ruthless communist adversary. And, as the spies’ mission gathers pace, the subterfuge and shootouts are really rather gripping.

Certificate 15. Runtime 108 mins. Director John H Lee

Operation Chromite (In-cheon sang-ryuk jak-jeon) debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Wednesday 28 June. Available on Blu-ray & DVD from Signature Entertainment.



Jason Best

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.