The Tube (Bilingual) [Import]
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Top Customer Reviews
However, what one can expect is a great action movie that tries to hard to be something more than a great action movie.
The premise is simple: T (Sang-Min Park) takes control of a crowded subway train, loading it with explosives so that the authorities risk detonation if they try to stop it. However, Detective Jay -- vengefully hunting the terrorist who killed his fiance -- manages to board the train, and he spends the bulk of the film trying to outsmart (and, when necessary, outfight) someone he's always been one step behind.
So, yes, the film can clearly be compared to SPEED as well as DIE HARD, to a lesser extent, but what those films lacked in depth of character Woon-hak Baek goes to great lengths to create here. However, when the film slows down to focus on character, it slows down too much. Too many secondary characters are given a backstory (or a B plotline) that weighs down the narrative with some unnecessary emotional baggage (in SHIRI, Baek focused on principally three characters, hence the greater success). Inevitable choices still have to be made, so the emotional depth ends up being thrown in for the sake of ... well ... being thrown in, and the end result is a bit of a mess.
Character elements aside, however, TUBE moves along briskly as a convincing action vehicle with some solid special effects.
While the disc is slim on extras (there is a music video and a "making of" featurette that's far more promotional than it is informative), TUBE is still worth entering for the sheer thrill of the ride.
On the other hand, this movie composite of so many action movies we've seen before is fascinating in its skewed familiarity. It's not terrible; the production values are high, the acting occasionally thrilling, the one-liners sometimes amusing. It's no more or less diverting than the average Hollywood Die Hard knockoff. I think of it as top notch karaoke, like American Idol. In the proper context, it's impressive.
In the grand scheme of things, though, it's depressing, especially when Korean directors like Chan-wook Park are producing such unique and energetic work.
With "Tube," he does it again.
Think "Speed" - but on a train, and with a bad guy who has a genuinely good reason for being as bent and vicious as he is.
"Tube" is orchestrated almost like a piece of classical music: the opening five minutes is a violent set piece that introduces the villain, the hero and the female lead [who is not *quite* a romantic lead]. Then, the first act brings together the various characters and sets up the situation - much like the first act of a symphony introduces themes and develops them.
The second act finds hero, villain and not-quite-romantic female lead in the midst of the situation, and the third act resolves one situation, to discover that there are contingencies in place.
In the final act/coda, the final resolution is made and a brief tag underscores the bittersweetness of the final victory.
Baek's direction is elegant, calling to mind the balletic qualities of Sam Peckinpah and John Woo [though without the extravagant use of slo mo].
Seok-Hoon Kim's Jay is the unorthodox cop we all love, but with a tragic twist that moves beyond what we're used to. Doo-Na Bae, "Kay is the not-quite-romantic female lead - a real woman - not one of those exquisite creatures that Hollywood tries to pass of as one [and though she's not beautiful, she has a very powerful, charismatic presence]. Sang-Min Park plays renegade covert ops agent "T" as a vicious, evil thug who wasn't ever supposed to wind up that way.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This has to be the worse Korean movie I've seen....ever. It's complete with laughable attempts at drama, characters you don't care for, and.... Read morePublished on June 18 2004
If you like good action with a bit of a story and good acting, then the 'Tube' is a good bet.Published on May 12 2004 by Dogman
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