This is a touching action epic about an all-out war between a subway terrorist who holds a city hostage and the detective who risks his life to save everyone. It's the heart-wrenching story...
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This is a touching action epic about an all-out war between a subway terrorist who holds a city hostage and the detective who risks his life to save everyone. It's the heart-wrenching story of love and sacrifice that grows in a desperate situation, and the humanity of people trying to save others in the face of extreme danger at breath-taking speeds and on a huge scale. Written by
Flashy action thriller derailed by logic-challenged screen writing
TUBE (2003): While I can't highly recommend it, it is kind of fun, provided you don't think too much about the plot, which has a walking stereotype loose-canon cop (Kim Seok-hoon) battling a terrorist (Pak Sang-min) onboard a hijacked subway train. The terrorist is a former government eraser that the government tried, but failed, to erase, and he's taken the train, and Seoul's mayor, hostage to uhh, well, to apparently have the plan be doomed from the start. Equal parts SPEED, TAKING OF PELHAM 123, MONEY TRAIN and DIE HARD, the film has few pretensions, which make it easy on the derriere. Poor Bae Doo-na gets one of the stranger film roles in film history, as a pickpocket who apparently knows she must LOVE the hero even before she KNOWS the hero, and creates all the necessary Korean histrionics along the way (as well as almost bearing more physical brutality than the hero!) while our glowering protagonist poses with a series of unlit cigarettes in his mouth (and which only one person will ever be allowed to light, care to guess who?). The SPEED and TAKING OF PELHAM allusions are apt, as are slight nods to MONEY TRAIN (the hero's boss does his best crazy Robert Blake impersonation) and DIE HARD (or UNDER SIEGE 2 if you'd rather, since it's so blatantly name-checked on the U.S. package), but overall it's a victim of it's own weak (and often downright ridiculous) logic and begs a few too many questions. The lovely Bae Doo-na plays one of the most strangely motivated characters I've ever seen in a motion picture. Production wise, though, it's delivers the goods, with slick production values all the way, with some nicely handled chase and fight scenes. Turns out, if I read the docu-stuff on the Korean 2-disc set correctly, that the Korean subway trains don't even look as hi-tech as they do here, and the ones in the film were almost entirely CG apart from the sets for close-ups! Columbia Tri-Star's sleeve is highly reminiscent of the art for TRANSPORTER and, not entirely unexpectedly, substitutes a generic Asian face for that of star Kim Seok-hoon. I give it a 4.
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