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Professor Kim, a marine geologist, recognizes the impending danger of a mega tsunami headed straight for Haeundae, a popular vacation spot on the south coast of Korea. He desperately attempts to warn authorities and alert the unknowing vacationers of the 500 MPH destructive force of nature headed their direction. Written by
Disaster movies have are part of a big tradition, and any number of them have been effective in their own ways. HAEUNDAI starts from the simple premise that an unstable range of undersea mountains may give way to a "meta-tsunami" - promising waves fifty feet high.
HAEUNDAI may have its own fanciful approach to geology, but the film divides into two sections: the first hour or so, and the rest. The first hour involves plodding, ineffectual set-up as we come to know the ensemble of characters. Consisting of drunkenness, yelling and screaming, and a hint of romance, this part of the movie would work if it were more integrated and carefully written. The remainder of the film is the disaster and its aftermath - which involves not one, but three tidal waves, each one bigger than the one before. In other words, HAEUNDAI begins by testing your patience, and delivers its disaster in a matter that's not even remotely credible.
Hollywood's THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW at least had a certain visual brilliance along with its effects and nonsensical setup. HAEUNDAI just has CGI waves and rampant melodrama. If not for the promise of disaster, I probably would have left early.
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