The highly anticipated third film from South Korean director Kim Tae-kyun, Volcano High is the story of high school-aged martial arts wizards in search of a mystical text that will restore harmony to their school. Set in an indeterminable time -- as well as mirroring many of the themes and styles found in the U.S. films The Matrix and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone -- Volcano High is in a state of chaos that has lasted nearly 20 years, since a vast Teachers Battle sent the education system into a downward spiral of intense fighting. Transfer student and frequent school expellee Kim Kyeong-su (Jang Hyeok) arrives at Volcano High and quickly makes the acquaintances of a number of the top dogs at the school -- including the equally skilled fighters Yu Chae-yi (Shin Min-ah), Jang Ryang (Kim Su-ro), and Song Hak-rim (Gweon Sang-woo). This trio begins to learn of the vastness of Kim's skills, as well as suspecting that there may be more to him than meets the eye as they seek out the aforementioned text that will heal their school and others from the vicious warring currently taking place. Volcano High was released in a 118-minute version in South Korea, but was cut to 92 minutes for its festival screenings in 2002, which included the Toronto Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival, and the Berlin Film Festival.
by Ryan Shriver synopsis