South Korea has been in the forefront of Asian cinema since the 1999 release of the breakout film "Shiri". Since then, a number of successful Korean films have been made, including JSA, Taegukgi and The Host, among others. Sadly, "Blue" (SSU in some territories), a 2003 release, does not rate among Korea's better efforts.
"Blue" seems to be one of those movies where the writers took plot elements (and not necessarily the good elements!) from a number of different Hollywood war/thriller movies, and then put them together to arrive at the basic premise for the story. From start to finish, the movie is loaded with typical military cliches that leaves the viewer wondering "Haven't I seen this before somewhere?". The plot revolves around two friends in the Korean Navy, who are both part of an elite diving squad, specialising in emergency deep sea salvage dives. You have the straight-laced and serious Lee, played by Kim Yeong-ho, and the crazy, risk taker Kim, played by Shin Hyeon-jun. Inevitably, there is conflict between the two over the gung-ho approach of Kim, and the danger he poses for himself (and his fellow divers). These escalate when Kim clashes with his higher-ups, and Lee is promoted. The plot thickens upon the arrival of Kang, played by actress Shin Eun-Kyung, as both Kim and Lee rival for her affections. Naturally, the storyline comes to a climax during a dangerous salvage rescue of a sunken submarine.
The acting is average - the worst is probably Shin Hyeon-jun, who I really rated following his turn in "Guns & Talks". In a somewhat manic performance, Shin Hyeon-jun "grossly" overacts his part. Shin Eun-Kyung, from the first two "My Wife is a Gangster" movies, is about as exciting as a pencil. It is a struggle to fathom why the male leads would be fighting over her. The special effects are also pretty average. Otherwise, the movie is technically competent. Overall, it is your standard military thriller/action flick - not much story, not the greatest in acting fare, but with some diving scenes in the mix.
"Blue" is probably best avoided, unless you are a) a fan of Shin Eun-Kyung; or b) a fan of Shin Hyeon-jun. But honestly, this film does neither actor any credit. I suppose hardcore military thriller/action buffs may also enjoy it, but the thrills don't come from gun battles with the enemy, just tense deep sea diving.