Spiritwalker (2021) Review



Spiritwalker is a visually impressive South Korean action gem that is a little slow at but times but makes up for it with a John Wick style gun-fu finale and an engaging story making it well worth checking out.

Plot: Director Yoon Jae-keun (Heartbeat), along with award-winning martial arts choreographers Park Young-sik and Chung Seong-Ho (SAG Awards, Best Stunt Ensemble, “Squid Game”), bring to life the action-packed thriller about a man who loses his memory and subsequently wakes up in a new body every twelve hours.  Winner of the Daniel A. Craft award for Excellence in Action Cinema at the 2021 New York Asian Film Festival, SPIRITWALKER stars former K-pop singer Yoon Kye-Sang (Chocolate, The Outlaws), Park Yong-Woo (Nailed), Lim Ji-Yeon (Obsessed, High Society) and Park Ji-Hwan (The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure).

Review: South Korea has made some excellent action movies over the years like The Man from Nowhere and No Tears from the Dead; it’s safe to say that Spiritwalker is another winner feeling like a cross between Quantum Leap, Inception and John Wick. It never quite reaches the heights of The Man from Nowhere but Spiritwalker is still a fun ride that keeps you guessing.

There is a scene a few minutes into it where an apartment morphs into a coffee shop and it’s one of the most mind-blowing visual effects I’ve seen for some time. The rest of the movie doesn’t have anything that comes close to that sequence in terms of jaw dropping style but it’s a compelling story as we try to figure out what’s going on with our protagonist Ian who keeps shifting into other bodies.

Spiritwalker is at its core a love story as Ian tries to protect his girl Jina from multiple villains who have been trying to kill them; I won’t go into why as you’ll have to watch the movie as the mystery is the fun part of it.

It does slow down in parts so it isn’t constant action but we still get some impressive fight scenes and shoot-outs and a finale to rival Mr. Wick in terms of gun-fu awesomeness.

The music is quite Inception-esque helping to create a sense of the unknown and builds up the tension and excitement too.

Director Yoon Jae-keun (Heartbeat) has an amazing sense for visuals and knows exactly what to do with the camera really adding to the surreal plot as we follow Ian around trying to figure out what has happened to him.

Overall, Spiritwalker is one of the most visually stunning action movies I’ve seen for some time with an unpredictable story and a bullet riddled finale which more than makes up for the odd lag in pacing.