Synopsis by Josh Ralske
Writer/director Ryu Seung-wan (No Blood No Tears) directs his brother Ryu Seung-beom again in Arahan, marketed as "Urban Martial Arts Action." Actor Ryu plays Yu Sang-hwan, a bungling but honest patrolman. One day while chasing a purse-snatcher, he comes across a beautiful convenience store cashier and part-time martial arts master named Eun-jin (Yoon So-yi, making her feature debut), whom he finds about to deliver a devastating "palm blast" to the young thug he's just chased down. Eun-jin's aim is off, and Yu ends up knocked unconscious. She brings him back home to the temple of the "Seven Masters," a group of five cranky ch'i masters led by her father, Ja-un (Ahn Sung-Ki from Nowhere to Hide and Slimido). Ja-un quickly recognizes Yu's amazing untapped potential. Yu thinks the five old-timers are a bunch of kooks, but he's attracted to Eun-jin, and after he gets beaten up by some low-level gangsters, he returns to the temple, determined to learn how to do a "palm blast," so he can fight back. Ja-un patiently tries to teach him the ways of ch'i, but Yu is not the most attentive pupil. He wants to learn powerful fighting techniques, and seems more interested in gawking at Eun-jin than in the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of the Seven Masters' teachings. But push comes to shove when a former Master, Heug-un (fight choreographer Jung Doo-hong), who betrayed the cause returns from centuries underground determined to seize the ultimate power and rule the world. Ja-un believes that the seemingly hopeless Yu is the only hope for humankind. Arahan was shown at the 2005 New York Asian Film Festival, presented by Subway Cinema.