The Divine Fury a Korean action/horror hybrid about a possessed mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter—not as thrilling as its wilder ideas. This is a movie where Yong-hu (Seo-joon Park), an agnostic pro-athlete works on his daddy issues by joining good-matured Father Ahn (Sung-ki Ahn) in speaking Latin and exorcising demons. I agree, hypothetical reader, “The Divine Fury” does sound like fun, especially given that, in the film, demons tend to catch fire as they’re exorcised. There’s also a climactic fight scene involving a scaly demon-man. And a ton of dead air, boring asides, tedious backstory, and other unnecessary narrative padding.
Yong hu’s story is almost never as cuckoo bananas on screen as it is on paper. Writer/director Joohwan Kim frequently announces his intention of taking Yonghu and his crisis of faith seriously, but Kim often fails to provide enough credible details to warrant the excessive concentration that he brings to this mostly generic post-“The Exorcist” horror movie. Yonghu is consequently just another good guy struggling to rid himself of a heavy personal albatross: his dad, Officer Park (SeungJoon Lee), was killed by the “Dark Bishop,” the same demon that Park chases throughout “The Divine Fury” and that, in the film’s present day, possesses stick figure antagonist Ji-sin (Do-hwan Woo). But what Yonghu sees as a weakness (doubt) is actually a strength in the eyes of Father Ah, a priest who gives voice to the film’s most regrettable expository dialogue, though at least he doesn’t have to say “I possessed the guy who killed your father,” an actual line that one unfortunate actress, playing a possessed Catholic, gets stuck with.
With that said: Yong-hu and Ahn’s bond is easily the weakest link in “The Divine Fury,” even more so than the slick neon-and-mirrors sensibility that makes the film look like a “John Wick”-themed perfume commercial. Yong-hu sometimes asks about Spahn background as a priest, since he lost faith after his father’s death. But, while Ahn frequently answers his would-be apprentice’s question, his replies are mostly trivial, stuff like “Sure, [priests] can drink and smoke” and “A glass of wine after fighting demons makes me sleep like a baby.” I don’t know why I now know this, but I’m guessing you don’t either.