December 19, 2009

Tube: Tanks

"You can tell everything about a man by his shoulders," pickpocket Kay (Bae Du-na) tells us about her not-so-secret crush, transit cop Jay (Kim Seok-hun). But if that's really the case, is there really any need to hear him (or anyone else with shoulders) speak? So much of the dialogue is dreadful in Tube that you wish director Baek Woon-hak had simply let the body parts do the talking themselves. If he had, this chase-and-shoot about a crazed killer (Park Sang-min) who holds a speeding subway's passengers hostage in the hopes of getting the oh-so-evil President to kill himself might have emerged as a flashy-if-frustrating art film instead of a clunky, high-budget upgrade of Speed as imagined by Michael Bay. (You've got to love the explosions!) Pure action pic lovers are unlikely to forgive the movie either, though because the gun fights are too one-sided and the fistfights are shot from too close. (You never get a good view of what's happening in either scenario.) Tube is really most effective as a promo for the Seoul Subway System. You'll spot none of the rats that are so ubiquitous in NYC and the high-ceilinged control center looks like something straight out of NASA.

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