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Movie Critique: Dr. Cheon and the Missing Artifact (2023) directed by Kim Seong-sik.
Movie Critique: Dr. Cheon and the Missing Artifact (2023) directed by Kim Seong-sik.

Movie Critique: Dr. Cheon and the Missing Artifact (2023) directed by Kim Seong-sik.

After gaining recognition for his performances in movies such as “Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard” and “Secret Reunion,” Gang Dong-won has become one of the top actors in South Korean cinema. This is evident in his portrayal of Dr. Cheon in director Kim Seong-sik’s latest film. The movie, which is based on Fresh and Kim Hong-tae’s popular webtoon “Possessed” and marks the beginning of a series, will be released by WellGo USA on October 6th.

Upon arrival in a small village, Dr. Cheon and his technical assistant Inbae are approached by a young woman named Yoo-kyung. She asks for their assistance in using Dr. Cheon’s legendary Shamanistic abilities to help her family. At first, he is put off by her seriousness, but the promise of payment brings them together to investigate the case of her younger sister’s supposed possession in their home. As they try to help, Dr. Cheon and Inbae discover that the true cause of the haunting is a reanimated spirit seeking revenge on Dr. Cheon’s father, who had encountered it years ago. The entity now possesses a new target and they must find a way to stop it from fulfilling its mission.

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In general, “Dr. Cheon” was quite enjoyable for what it offers. One of its strengths is the well-crafted setup by writer and director Seong-sik, which combines several entertaining elements to create a more enjoyable experience than expected. The initial premise of Dr. Cheon as a fake shaman who actually possesses genuine supernatural abilities is a common tactic in this genre, but is executed in a fun way here. The dynamic between Dr. Cheon and Inabe suggests that their business involves deceiving innocent people for financial gain using supposed supernatural powers, but they are unexpectedly faced with an actual supernatural challenge when Yoo-kyung brings them a new case. This adds a layer of greed and deception to the story, as they must now use their skills honestly to deal with the situation. Additionally, the connection between Dr. Cheon and his deceased father, who were both skilled shamans, adds interesting depth to the story and makes for a more entertaining experience.

The setup allows “Dr. Cheon” to present some intriguing and chilling encounters. The initial attempt at exorcising the family highlights Dr. Cheon and Inbae’s expertise in handling the situation, despite some last-minute complications. Later scenes show them investigating Yoo-kyung’s village and her sister’s case, which include several clichéd haunted house-style sequences with the demonic spirit. These sequences focus on the use of CGI to enhance the spectacle. The confrontations between Dr. Cheon and the demonic force reveal the true nature of the haunting and add an enjoyable and likable element to the film. The storyline also delves into Dr. Cheon’s past, adding a comedic aspect to the overall discovery piece in the third act.

The movie “Lost Talisman” faces some challenges. One of the main issues is the complex plot that unfolds in the second half of the film. As Cheon and Inabe embark on their mission at Yoo-kyung’s house, there are too many shocking revelations about his father’s death, the possession of the daughter, and the quest for the sacred artifact to stop its escape. While these plot elements add depth to the storyline, they also make the final half feel rushed and disjointed. Another problem is the excessive use of CGI, which cheapens the overall quality of the film and can be unintentionally comical. Despite these flaws, the movie is still enjoyable.

Despite a few minor problems, “Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman” is a generally enjoyable experience in its genre. While it may not be groundbreaking or overly challenging to watch, it still manages to be engaging. If you are a fan of this type of genre or simply curious about it, it’s worth giving it a try.