February 26, 2012

Quick: An Action-Comedy That Will Make Your Head Explode

Let's pretend for a moment that you're a movie director and a highly amusing action-comedy script comes across your desk. From the looks of it, if you can get the required budget and the right actors, the action sequences promise to be breathtaking and the best comedic bits will be gut-bustingly funny. The problem is that the parts in between them are, frankly, kind of boring and border on the incomprehensible. What do you do? Do you bring in another writer, a crackerjack script doctor perhaps, to tighten up the exposition and iron out the wrinkles or do you go back to the original screenwriters and say, "Give me more action, more slapstick, and less talk." I'm guessing Cho Beom-gu took the latter approach -- many times in fact -- because while Quick still has a few, fairly short, dull explanatory sections that tell us why this rash of bombings is happening throughout Seoul, it's a hell of a lot less concerned with explaining why the leather-clad pop diva Ah-rom (Kang Ye-won) has a time-bomb motorcycle-helmet strapped to her head and more committed to having her scream nonsensically and gesticulate wildly as former-boyfriend/expert-motorcyclist/indie-courier Gi-soo (Lee Min-ki) races from one location to the next. Who cares why these two ex-lovers are being forced to execute a series of death-defying assignments when you get to see so many spectacular car pile-ups and so many glamorously fiery explosions? Not me.

You'll see Gi-soo's motorcycle leap from buildings, smash through glass, crash through steel, outrace trains, cop cars and overweight detectives running nonsensically after him on foot. The implausible part is a major contributing factor to why Quick is so deliriously good. The ridiculousness elevates the movie, even as it extends outside the action. How crazy does it get? How about when a weary, naked Ah-rom showers with her helmet on or when Gi-soo's self-deluded romantic rival Myeong-sik (Kim In-kwon) backbends under a sixteen-wheeler careening and aflame right above him? While that particular moment is clearly the result of some fancy green screen CGI special effects, Quick is by no means without its own dose of reality. Stick around for the closing credits which reveal behind-the-scenes footage of the bruises, the bang-ups, and the broken bones suffered by both the cast and their body doubles who skid motorcycles under trucks or propel their bodies recklessly through space for the perfect shot. The risks taken may seem crazy when you consider that they're all just for a silly action pic but personally, I think their efforts were worth it.

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