Director: Baek Woon-hak
And I thought only Hollywood could make action
films this stupid with more clichés hanging off of it than wet laundry
at an 18th century washer woman's home. But Korea can too I see. It is sort
of Speed meets Die Hard with a hard sprinkling of The Taking of Pelham One,
Two, Three. It has everything thrown into this but common sense. A runaway
train, a power plant, a rickety bridge, terrorists, a bomb on board, corrupt
politicians, Metro Central trying to clear the tracks and stop the train,
breaks that fail, the wife of one of the Metro controllers on the train,
a car full of orphans - and one man who can stop it. And a woman. Ok, the
orphans were not on the train - someone missed that one. I am surprised the
Korean police force did not sue - according to this they have no idea how
to shoot straight. With hundreds of shots they can't take out one man about
30 feet away. There is so much dumb here - things I can't talk about without
too many spoilers. I saw that this was the debut of the director Baek Woon-hak
and he didn't direct again for 12 years. In bad director hell.
It has a ludicrous beginning that even after finishing the film I have no
idea what was going on. A group of terrorists somehow manage to sneak into
an airport with an arsenal of weapons and assassinate a VIP. Ok - sure -
but then as they make their way out - as leisurely as a Sunday walk - they
open the door and about one hundred cops are waiting for them - and they
walk through them - then pull out their guns and start blasting - and the
hundred cops can't hit one of them - not even a nick, a scratch, a bruise.
The only cop who does shoot someone shows up in his civvies and kills one
of them and then gets blamed by the cops for letting them all get away.
This is the hero of the film. A maverick cop who gets dressed down every
day by his supervisor for going beyond the rules. You may have seen the type.
In about a thousand films. He is Jay (Seok-hun Kim) who has a personal grudge
against the terrorist who just shot up the airport - what that might be is
never exactly clear but probably has something to do with his dead wife that
he keeps flashing back to. He is of all things a Metro cop on the pickpocket
unit - what he was doing at the airport - eh, who knows. Into this enters
my reason for watching this to the very end. A female pickpocket who is very
good and has a crush on Jay. This is Kay - played by Bae Doo-na, who I will
watch in anything. Obviously. The Host, Sense8 and Linda Linda Linda are
a few of her works. Ala Faye Wong in Chungking Express, she breaks into his
apartment and sees a picture of the bad guy (Park Sang-min) and so when she
sees him in the station she calls Jay who rides a motorcycle right to the
train that the bad guy has boarded and jumps on the back. Nothing compared
to what he does later. Kay is on the train too and there is trouble ahead.
On a level it is totally ridiculous, but after a while I just sort of went
with it - he constantly gets beat up like a rag doll, gets shot, gets thrown
off the train (and amazingly catches up with it by running through a maze
of rooms and then jumps on it going about 100 mph) - but keeps on ticking
like the bomb in the engineer's room.