October 25, 2015

The Target: You Better Run

Someone needs to make a movie that's basically one, long extended chase. Not predominantly a chase. But only a chase. They can have characters rest to catch their breath and get wounds attended to but that would be it. No other scenes would be permitted. That's essentially the first hour of the one-named director Chang's crowd-pleasing The Target, in which we watch a man (Ryu Seung-ryong) chased through an office building then chased down an alley until he ends up almost dead in a hospital where he reawakens only to be chased down the halls, chased down the stairs, chased in a mall, chased in a parking lot... Sometimes he's alone when he's being chased. Sometimes, he's accompanied by a frantic ER doctor (Lee Jin-wook) whose pregnant, psychoanalyzing wife (Jo Yeo-jeong) has been kidnapped by the main guy's brother (Jin Guo) who happens to be suffering from Tourette's Syndrome. But it doesn't matter whom is being chased or where the chase is happening. It's always exhilarating.

The second hour of the movie has somewhat less chasing, and switches the pursuit from "on foot" to "in car." But by this time, we're also into punching and shooting and crowbarring and even using the top of a toilet tank to slam into somebody's apparently cast iron head. It's still action — happily, much of it is hand-to-hand combat — but nothing thrills in a thriller quite like the chase. (Integrated marketing idea here: Brought to you by Puma.) Which isn't to say that The Target gets boring. Far from it! Bad-ass lady cops, creepy detectives-on-the-make, shady prison lawyers, and a grand shootout in a nearly abandoned police station that's epic in the best way possible will keep you thoroughly entertained. Whether it's as good as (or better than) Point Blank, the 2010 French film on which it's based, I don't know having never seen the original but it's definitely good enough for me.

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