Directed by: Baek Woon-Hak
Runtime: 112 minutes
Genre Keywords: Action
Seok-hun Kim ... Jay
Du-na Bae ... Kay
Sang-min Park ... T
I had a grand theory when I watched this flick, one brought on by too much vino and simple tiredness. I had a theory wherein all the parts fit perfectly and everything made a lot of sense, like that one time I O.D.'ed on psilocybe mushrooms ... the next day, it really wasn't all that brilliant.
The theory was that Tube was a schematic, a blueprint, an outline of a movie. Each element of it was a pure element of light kitsch cinematography, each overly dramatic moment twanging slightly on the nerves connected to good taste, each actor an archetype of sophomoric script-writing rather than an individual, each mannerism and behavior forcibly hammered into shape so that it would fit the overall theme of Dramatic Action Movie.
As I said, the next day it didn't seem all that brilliant. But those of you with more refined film senses might want to avoid this film, as under the influence of Bacchus my usually dull aesthetic sense sharpened itself to such a point that the movie was nearly unwatchable.
It wore off, fortunately.
More to the point, Tube is a very straightforward cop and villain movie straight out of Hollywood, as rendered by a Grade A Student of Hollywood Cliches, that gets where all the bits of an Action Movie go, but doesn't quite understand why. Added are the mutual hatred motive (rendered in loving slo-mo multiple times in the film), love interest, a comic relief, a Reluctant, Grizzled Advisor, a Scheming Politician ... I mean, you see the pattern start to emerge here, I might as well start typing in capitals. This movie really does seem to tend toward the archetypal, in plot and in character development. For crying out loud, the main characters are letters. Coincidence that J and K are next to each other? I bet J's wife's name was "I"...
The payoff is some fairly slick subway (the Tube itself) gunplay action and not much else. If you want an Action Movie, watch this. Just try not to trip over all the Capital letters and a really, really bad ending that might be considered poignant if it wasn't so bad.
Final Conclusion? Go watch Speed, instead. Or even just its last few minutes that occur in the subway. It's funnier, more suspenseful, and resolves in a marginally less stupid way (Oh no! A wall! Let's accelerate!).