Director: Lee Sang-geun
Cast: Cho Jung-seok, Lim Yoona, Goh Doo-shim, Park In-hwan, Kim Ji-young
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins
Rating: PG (Some Intense Sequences)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 12 September 2019
Synopsis: Yong-nam (CHO Jung-seok) was one of the best rock climbers in college but hasn’t had much luck elsewhere after graduation. He has failed to get a job for many years and has to rely on his parents just to get by. For his mother’s 70th birthday, he insisted on having the party at Dream Garden because his old crush, Eui-ju (LIM Yoona) works there. When a disaster strikes, covering an entire district in Seoul with mysterious white gas, he has to use all of his rock climbing skills with the help of Eui-ju to get everyone to safety.
EXIT is a Korean action comedy that revolves around an avid climber, Yong-nam, who graduated from university but fail to land himself a job. While he is developed and capable physically, he had never succeeded with the job interviews. For his mother’s 70th birthday, he insisted on the venue so he could bump into his college sweetheart, Eui-joo. Just when the party was about to end, a disaster broke out in the entire district in Seoul - the city was under a toxic gas attack. The only chance for them to escape the impending catastrophe was to go up.
Yong-nam is played by Jo Jung-suk, who made his film debut as a comedic supporting actor in the 2012 box office hit Architecture 101, which enabled his breakthrough in the acting scene. His comedic expressions and interactions with co-star Im Yoon-ah were a big part of the success of the film. Yoon-ah, from Girls’ Generation, didn’t lose out in her comedic expressions too. Especially in scenes where both of them broke up in ‘ugly crying’, it was impossible to hold your laughter. In terms of action, the both of them are equally agile and nimble, and held together the climbing scenes really well. It may surprise you that Jung-suk is 38 years old, but his athletic form definitely doesn’t lose to any fit young man!
While the narrative of the movie wasn’t spectacular, the pace and tempo of the movie was good. It was also easy to follow. The suspense in the story and the multiple happenings made the film more dynamic. What’s also commendable about the story was that it weaved in a lot of pop elements that the audience could relate to, and made smart use of them. Think live video, drone, social media and social justice. The way these elements were injected into the movie to up the comedy factor was interesting.
Towards the end of the movie, some may feel that the film is draggy, or even a little lethargic, but it was all in all, a light hearted and enjoyable watch. Who would have thought that an unassuming skill in climbing would become the needed skill which enables the entire escape? Coupled with the exaggerated, humourous scenes, the movie was a nice and leisure watch to brighten an otherwise non-eventful week!
(A light hearted and comedic escape with an exciting sequence which keeps you at the edge of your seat!)
Review by Tho Shu Ling