Director: Jo Beom-goo
Writer: Park Su-jin
Producer: Lee Sang-yong, Yun Je-gyun
Cast: Lee Min-ki, Kang Ye-won, Kim In-kwon, Ko Chang-seok, Ju Jin-mo
Running Time: 115 min.
2011’s “Quick” has frequently been billed as a Korean take on “The Fast and the Furious.” Truth be told, it’s more of a contemporary update on “Speed” – with Korean biker gangs thrown in for good measure – but genre-savvy viewers will notice scenes and sequences taken from various other Hollywood movies. Blink and you’ll miss a shot from “Die Hard With a Vengeance,” “Final Destination 2,” or “The Matrix Reloaded.”
All this scene-stealing could have easily made “Quick” feel like one big cinematic pastiche, but it’s to the filmmakers credit that the lack of originality doesn’t hold “Quick” back. It helps that the movie doesn’t take itself seriously at all. For all its explosions and high speed collisions, “Quick” is more of a broad comedy. Not every joke hits the mark but it’s obvious that the script is trying to entertain at all times.
In the film, a motorbike courier has his life turned upside down when he realizes today’s special delivery is a remotely armed bomb. Soon he’s forced to team up with an ex-girlfriend – now a singer in an all-girl Korean pop group – and race around Seoul at the orders of a madman, who communicates via headset in a menacing voice that sounds an awful lot like the killer from the “Saw” movies. This set-up soon gives way to frantic highway chases; Keystone cops trying to stop our duo; and a whole lot of bombs going off throughout Seoul.
Rather than try to build dramatic tension, most of “Quick” is played for laughs. Even in the midst of a reckless pursuit between our heroes and the police, the movie stops for a plate of noodles to fall in slow motion on an incompetent cop’s face. Of course, the comedic tone does hinder the movie at times: most of the dialogue is screamed rather than spoken, and our mop-topped protagonist seems to have as little regard for human life as the screenwriters. By the end of the movie, don’t be surprised if you feel more sympathy for the villain than our supposed hero.
The key to enjoying “Quick” is to not overthink it. An ending credits gag reel, not unlike those found at the end of Jackie Chan’s movies, reveals that more than one stuntman (and woman) was harmed in the making of the film. It’s a dangerous line of work for what frequently amounts to little more than inconsequential entertainment – but the least we can do is to kick back and enjoy their efforts. “Quick” takes off when the actors get out of the way and let the stunt people do their thing.
HKFanatic’s Rating: 7/10