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As War of the Arrows proves, you can make one hell of an action movie without using weapons that make big booms. A historical epic set during the second Manchu invasion of Korea, the film is as brisk and breathless as the genre gets with none of the exposition that can slow it to a plod. Even the prologue—a whip-snap sequence that follows Nam-yi (Park Hae il) and his sister Ja-in (Moon Chae-won) as their father gets cut down after being branded a traitor—is all efficient and bloody. Dad bequeaths his trusty bow to Nam-yi, makes him swear he’ll protect Ja-in, then promptly bites the dust. That’s all we get, and bless ’em, that’s all we need before the plot jumps 13 years ahead. But War of the Arrows doesn’t suffer from a thin story, it just knows the action is what’s paramount. So, after Manchurian soldiers abduct an adult Ja-in, putting Nam-yi and his full quiver on the warpath to track her down in a series of beautifully staged action sequences, director Kim Han-min hits his stride. It just so happens to be a sprint.