Film Review: Escape from Mogadishu

Han and Kang

Much has been written and filmed about the way the USA and USSR used third countries in order to play out their proxy battles during the Cold War. For decades, almost every single conflict in South America, Africa or Asia had this extra political element. Funded, trained and provisioned by one or both of the superpowers. However, they were not always alone in their meddling. Escape from Mogadishu tells an almost fantastical story.

In the early 1990s, North and South Korea are vying for admission into the United Nations. Africa had become a major battleground for both countries as realistically the votes from members on this continent will be vital. Ambassador Han (Kim Yoon-seok) and intelligence officer Hang (In-Sung Jo) do their best to court the Somali government at the behest of Seoul but they keep finding their approaches rebuffed and thwarted. When civil war breaks out, they have a difficult choice to make.

Based on real events, Escape from Mogadishu is a full-throttle action-thriller with a big heart. Meshing the political intrigues of the time with playful comedy, Seung-wan Ryu’s film takes the audience right into the heart of the conflict. This is where it excels and there’s a sequence towards the end which is unlikely to be surpassed in cinemas this year. Escape from Mogadishu is a period blockbuster that delivers on all fronts.

Escape from Mogadishu will be in UK cinemas and on Digital from 25 March.

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