February 27, 2024

DR. CHEON AND THE LOST TALISMAN: The Beginning Of A Franchise?

2023 / 98 min
Review by Pepper the Poopy😽

Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman is based on a popular Korean “webtoon,” and after watching this one, it’s clear that those behind it have franchise aspirations. Whether or not it actually becomes one remains to be seen, but if viewers keep their expectations in check, these characters might be worth revisiting in another adventure. 

The premise is pretty straightforward. The title character (Gang Dong-won) is the grandson of a legendary shaman, but doesn’t actually believe in all that spiritual hokum. Instead, he uses his knowledge and skills as a fake exorcist, visiting families who pay him to save “possessed” loved ones. We see Cheon and beleaguered tech savvy assistant Inbae (Lee-Dong-hwi) at work during an amusing prologue, which sort of sets the tone for the rest of the film.

Too cheap to hail a cab.
His next client, Yoo kyung (Esom) offers Cheon a huge sum to perform an exorcism on her little sister. In a plot turn that will surprise no one, the girl turns out to be really possessed. This demonic entity, Beom-Cheon (Huh Joon-ho), has also taken control of an entire village with his ability to possess people at-will to do his bidding. Not only that, flashbacks reveal he’s the man who killed Cheon’s grandfather and wants his half of a broken sword that banished him to the netherworld in the first place.

Storywise, there aren’t many surprises. Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman is mostly a fantasy film with a few vivid horror elements, along with welcome bits of humor that seldom feel shoehorned in (the banter between Cheon and Inbae is especially amusing). The film is briskly paced, with likable main characters and decent special effects. And of course, the door is left wide open for a sequel or two.

Will Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman leave viewers waiting with bated breath for another chapter (if there is one)? I dunno…this one isn’t likely to knock your socks off or leave a lasting impression. But even though the film serves up little we haven’t seen before, it’s generally pretty entertaining. 




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