'Exit" review: Korean disaster movie is predictable but still entertaining

'Exit" review: Korean disaster movie is predictable but still entertaining

This post-apocalyptic film has some interesting action sequences and comedic, over-the-top acting, but the plot is nothing new

exitfilm.jpg

Lim Yoona (front) and Cho Jung-seok in a still from Exit.
Photo: CJ Entertainment

Bearing somewhat of an uncanny resemblance to recent events in Hong Kong, Exit is a Korean disaster film in which a mad scientist releases a toxic gas that leaves thousands stranded in skyscrapers and awaiting helicopter rescue.

The film marks director Lee Sang-geun’s feature film debut and stars musical theater veteran Jo Jung-suk as Yong-nam, the rookie rock climber-turned hero, and Girls' Generation’s Yoona as the girl-next-door, and Yong-nam’s former crush, Eui-ju. 

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While at a birthday celebration, Yong-nam’s family members get picked up by the helicopters and he and Eui-ju get trapped on the rooftop. Putting their rock climbing skills to the test, the pair hop from one obstacle to another, trying to get the attention of helicopters passing by while they save others along the way.

The overacting of the ensemble cast could be a bit much at times and it was overall an over-the-top performance. However, this departure from realistic acting was not in the least annoying, as it, oddly enough, infused comedy into what would otherwise have been a no-nonsense, post-apocalyptic disaster.

Like many other big budget films, the plot is fairly predictable, but the action sequences somehow managed to counterbalance that and keep you on the edge of your seat for a good half of the film.

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One highlight would be the climax, when various citizens sent in drones to locate and follow the escaping duo as they zipline from one skyscraper to another. 

Similar to The Hunger Games, when the whole competition was live streamed and broadcast on TV, Yong-nam and Eui-ju’s race against time is also captured in real time. 

Hundreds of drones lights up the night sky, flashing bright LED lights and surrounding the pair in a scene that's cinematic magic at its best.

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