THE SWORDSMAN is a 2020 Korean film about a swordsman. Color me intrigued. (Seriously. I like swordsmen.) I wonder what’s up with this swordsman that makes him THE swordsman?
Actually there’s a bunch of swordsmen in THE SWORDSMAN with one that I assume is the titular swordsman but another one you could make an interesting if not totally convincing argument for. The main one is Tae-yul (Lee Min-hyuk), “the best swordsman in Joseon,” who in the prologue (while being played by Lee Min-hyuk) refuses to stand down from protecting the king (Jang Hyun-sung, SHIRI) when the other top officials have decided to topple him in a rebellion. The secondary swordsman is Min Seung-ho (Jung Man-sik, THE YELLOW SEA), an older military official who, to get to the king, challenges Tae-yul to a duel in which Tae-yul’s sword shatters, sending shards into his hand and eyes. At that point the king stops the fight and agrees to step down.
Unspecified years later, Tae-yul (now Jang Hyuk, VOLCANO HIGH) is a recluse living in the mountains with his teenage daughter Tae-ok (Kim Hyun-soo, THE FIVE). He periodically has problems with his vision, and a monk tells them to go get a special herb from a trader he knows named Hwa Seon (Lee Na-Kyung, BATTLE FOR INCHEON: OPERATION CHROMITE) or he’s gonna go blind. (read the rest of this shit…)