Monday, November 18, 2019

Exit / 엑시트 - 2019 Hawaii International Film Festival Movie Review

The Movie: Exit / 엑시트

The Director: Lee Sang-geun

The Cast: Cho Jung-seok, Im Yoon-a, Ko Du-shim, Park In-hwan, Kim Ji-Young

The Story: A rock climber tries to save the day when a mysterious white gas envelops an entire district in Seoul, South Korea.

The Review:
From what I can tell, this movie is the first feature film for writer/director Lee Sang-geun which to me is a total shocker because of how well made the whole thing is. Exit is big, it's fun, it's action packed, and it's one of the most entertaining movies I have watched this year, no joke. This is a classic disaster movie with the city being invaded by a toxic gas that is expanding further and higher putting everyone in danger although the twist is that it's also a genuinely funny comedy as well.

The heroes of the story, Yong-nam, a down on his luck young man played by Jo Jung-suk, and Eui-ju a hotel manager hosting Yong-nam's family for a birthday party played by Yoona who is best known as a member of the K-Pop singing group Girls Generation. Of course the pair knew each other previously as rock climbing students during their college days so naturally they would be put in a situation where scaling walls and leaping tall buildings would be a necessity for survival. Seems rather convenient and you know what, why not, this is a comedic action movie so roll with it and have some fun.

Those particular action sequences are actually really well done with a lot of tension and high stakes involved and Lee still manages to interject humor through the at times awkward interactions between the primary characters as well as clever use of the supporting cast which is mainly Yong-nam's family. There are some interesting similarities to Die Hard, not necessarily in the overall story, I mean, the people are trying to escape toxic gas not a gang of deadly thieves, it's more some of the smaller beats like how Yong-nam is an ordinary man going through rough times who is suddenly thrust into an extraordinary situation and the light hearted nature of the story as well.

The Verdict:
Exit is one of the best and most entertaining action movies of the year. It has great mix of tension and comedy and, after a bit of a slow start for character introduction, will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to the very end.

Exit is an official selection of the 2019 Hawaii International Film Festival.

To keep track of all my reviews and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at HIFF 2019.

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