[Movie Review] The Divine Fury

Yong-hoo (Park Seo-joon) is a successful MMA fighter, but for the past 20 years he has not believed in God. Even when he saw religious symbols such as the cross, this angered him. This is because when he was a child, his father who worked as a police officer had an accident while on duty which made him critical. Little Yong-hoo who doesn’t want to lose his parents a second time (his mother died when he was born) prays earnestly for his father’s safety. Although a priest promised that his father would be healed if he prayed hard, in fact his father was not saved and this made him not believe in the existence of God.

This early half may feel a little slow but it is effective and necessary in introducing the world and also the character of Yong-hoo himself. In addition to showing the existence of a devil figure roaming around, we try to be invited to “understand” and understand why Yong-hoo hates and doesn’t believe in God so much. Can’t this be easily found around us – in any religion – sometimes what we sincerely ask for is not simply granted?

After the introduction of the character, The Divine Fury begins to enter the realm of exorcism when Yong-hoo finds a mysterious wound on the palm of his hand. Repeated visits to doctors and no satisfactory results, finally forced Yong-hoo to visit a psychic who in turn led him to meet an exorcist priest from the Vatican, Father Ahn (Ahn Jung-ki). From Father Ahn, it is known that the wound is a stigmata, one of which is special is that it can help in exorcism only with the help of holy water, without the need for reading prayers like Father Ahn did.

What makes Kim Joo-hwan’s script interesting to me is that it doesn’t mean to teach or make the audience “enlighten” immediately. Indeed, there are many symbols, crosses, or prayers; but the focus is not on religious teachings but universal teachings: evil against good. This can be seen from the figure of Yong-hoo who received a gift from God that did not immediately make him believe, even until the end there were still doubts and hatred against God. The thing that melted his heart was not the teachings and lectures of faith – although I like the part “when you are angry with God, it means that you still believe in God – which Father Ahn gave, but because he found goodness and found a father figure in Father Ahn.

In addition to being able to make a slick script, Kim Joo-hwan can also work on his exorcism. Unlike most satanic horror films that rely more on jump scares , in The Divine Fury it combines several exorcist , action and, and also a fantasy that might remind DC superhero John Constantine. However, it is still enough to give a horrifying effect when the victims who are possessed begin to break the laws of physics. Yes, although it is admitted that when this is done repeatedly it makes it feel a little boring, at least this can be overcome when the hero who is an MMA athlete uses his skills to help him exorcise the demons that reside in the human body.

Yes, it can’t be separated from the figure of Park Seo-joon as Yong-hoo who doesn’t just look and his face makes women hysterical (trust me, I’m tired of hearing my side comment “cute” “cool” and so on). His interactions with Ahn Jung-ki can appear warm which is sometimes accompanied by actions or jokes that are quite silly. Even though they both look good, the other characters are just that. Moreover, Wong Do-hwan as a Dark Bishop who is not explored more deeply than as an evil devil who uses deceit to deceive stray humans. Maybe this is an intention considering that at the end of the film it has been confirmed that there will be a sequel titled The Green Exorcist, hopefully Dark Bishop and his demon kingdom can be explored further.