Jae-hyuk is an ordinary man in his 40s. He works as a medical supplies salesman and is hassled by doctors all day. His brother Jae-pil is a detective that is not all that interested in ... See full summary »
The worst epidemic ever seen is sweeping through Bundang, the suburb of Seoul. After smuggling illegal immigrants into the country, Byung-woo dies from an unknown virus. Soon after that, the same symptoms are plaguing scores of residents in Bundang. People are helpless against the airborne disease and the number of infected increases quickly, spreading chaos. As the worst-case scenario precaution, the city of half a million people, just 19 kilometers from Seoul, is about to be sealed off. The government orders a complete shutdown. Meanwhile, infectious disease specialist In-hye and rescue worker Ji-goo go into the closed city to find the blood serum of the index case, a crucial part of developing the vaccine.Written by
Operation Officer Jun Guk-hwan is played by actor Ma Dong-Seok (Ma Dong Suk). See more »
The scene where the child Mirre meets "Mossai", the migrant with the flu antibodies, he is dark skinned and although he has Malay features, he is a Filipino using Tagalog phrases ("Wag kang lalapit/Don't get near me) yet in film dialogue describes the migrants of which he is one, as Chinese or Vietnamese. See more »
The Flu is entertaining but not highly memorable
I have to say from the beginning that The Flu is the Korean version of Contagion, that intense thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh which realistically depicted the development of an outbreak in the United States. Fortunately, The Flu isn't a simple copy, but an (unofficial) adaptation with good performances and solid direction which puts us in the middle of the action, the drama and the stretchers. In the last 5 years, we have been seeing Korean films which emulate North American formulas; for example, Sector 7 (a copy of Alien and Leviathan), The Tower (a copy of The Towering Inferno) and Tidal Wave (natural disasters). The Flu is an addition to that group, and even though it is not very memorable and it doesn't add very much to the formula, it kept me entertained focusing on a group of characters representative of the genre: the noble doctor who has a powerful personal motivation to find the cure; the altruistic hero ready to sacrifice everything for the people he has an affection for; the inefficient politicians who endlessly discuss the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of persons to save millions; in summary, all the necessary ingredients in order to reach entertaining levels of drama, tension and urban devastation. Without forgetting, obviously, a bit of political commentary relative to the difficult international position of South Korea; the fact that the most ruthless characters are North Americans mustn't be a coincidence, because they are always ready to trample the human rights for the sake of "national security". On the negative side, The Flu has some redundant scenes which lose strength with every repetition, and the ending feels too cloying. So, in conclusion, The Flu isn't a very original or memorable film, but I think it deserves a moderate recommendation because it managed to keep me interested.
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