If I told you that a period piece action film about zombies would be one of the most entertaining films of the year, you would probably ask if I was high while watching it. Fear not, because Rampant is one of the wildest and sober experiences of the entire year.
Set in the 1600s, Rampant follows the story of an arms trade gone wrong. A simple trade of silver for guns is thrown upside down when the seller is discovered to hold a bloodthirsty human named a ‘Demon’ on his ship. When discovered, the minister of Joseon military Kim Ja-Joon (Jang Dong-gun) unleashes the demon on the population in a plot to overthrow the dynasty and take control of the country. His plans are thwarted when Lee Chung (Hyun Bin) the greatest martial artist in the world and rightful heir to the dynasty returns to fight against the Demons and save the Joseon nation. With the nightmarish monsters plaguing the country, Prince Lee Chung fights to save his country from turmoil and a hostile military force.
Within the first few minutes of Rampant, you are treated to a zombie eating a small child among other villagers pretty much letting you know things are going to get crazy. The premise of the film is pretty insane; it plays very much like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon meets 28 Days Later. Our hero is a bit of a selfish dick towards the beginning with a loyal assistant who acts very much like Lloyd from Entourage. However, once our hero realizes the danger the entire country is in, he embraces his role as heir to the Dynasty. The villain Kim Ja-Joon is as ruthless and menacing as a T-1000 as there are no bounds he won’t cross to achieve absolute power, including killing his own King.
With some gorgeous cinematography, set-pieces, and costume design there are many things to love about this film on a technical side. As a story, Rampant is exactly the fun, ridiculous escapism the country needs now (America I mean, not South Korea…I mean, I guess South Korea too but…nevermind, just watch it).