26 August 2012

Film: Quick (2011)

Thoughts: If you're in the mood for some snappy, crazy Korean action/comedy hijinks, you needn't look further than Quick. Relentless with its pace and relentless in its humour, Quick should satisfy most action junkies, and those who need a quick adrenalin and humour fix (pun intended). Just don't expect anything groundbreaking or deep.

The opening 5 / 10 minutes should tell you if you're one of Quick's intended targets. The film opens in 2004 with a large biker group tearing through the busy Korean streets. Han Gi-soo leads the pack; fearless, emotionless, and with a fairly rough broad clutching to him for dear life. Further down the pack is the teary, hysterical Ah-rom, chasing after Gi-soo and his intentions, yet he doesn't seem to notice. And right at the back comes portly Kim Myeong-sik on his trusty pizza delivery scooter, trying to capture Ah-rom's attentions. Ah-rom reaches Gi-soo, but he tears off before she can get a straight answer about the troll suctioned to his back. Kim has no chance, and is pulled over by the very amused Detective Seo in a huge police barricade just for Kim and his 40k/hr delivery cycle. Gi-soo's unnecessary and reckless dash causes a huge- and I mean HUGE- pile up of sedans, taxis, SUVs and even a garbage truck. As he watches the chaos unfold, he tells the chick on his bike to haul off, and spies among the wreckage an upturned vehicle laying in the diagonal up against the garbage truck. He takes aim, hits the gas, and launches over the truck while it explodes behind him, pulling a pancake, and mid-air freeze with the title "QUICK!" launched into the screen.


6 years passes and everyones gotten on with life. Gi-soo is now a delivery excort, Kim is a motorcycle cop and Ah-rom is a well-known AV idol for a pop band. Gi soo is given the task of delivering Ah-rom to a concert in record time, but as she puts her helmet on a click is heard, and a timer starts to count down. An unknown caller informs Gi-soo that he must now run a specific set of errands, lest the helmet explode and take out everything within a 20m radius. If the helmet moves further than 10m from Gi-soo, it explodes. If they screw around, the bike can be remotely detonated. And with that, both Gi-soo and Ah-rom are off on basically what amounts to a 75min long chase sequence littered with crazy stunts and even crazier comedy.

So if none of this appeals to you, check out now. Go watch Legends Of The Fall or something. But if you can subscribe to the vision of insane motorcycle chases, rooftop launches (with the aid of obvious CG), lots of explosions, and an unnecessarily convoluted crime plot, then Quick shouldn't disappoint. The stunts are easily the highlight here, and the film even has that Jackie Chan standard of showing flubs and behind-the-scenes during the end credits, and you see just how truly dangerous the action in Quick was. Bones are broken, heads are knocked hard and blood flows freely. On the sheer audacity of that alone I'm impressed. But the humour is well played and appropriately insane enough to match the visuals. It's the kind of humour that only works in Asian cinema honestly, Western cinema that tries slapstick usually ends just to eager or overdone. Here, it melds pretty well.

The acting is fine enough, over-the-top and well-matched. The action scenes are filmed and shot in line with the story, and everything is brightly coloured and lit, appropriate considering how unreal the whole thing is. I guarantee that on close inspection the whole thing would make no sense and fall apart, but frankly I wasn't even paying much attention to details, I was just rolling along with it. And at 95mins, I can't complain. Great for some light-hearted viewing.


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