Tuesday, January 29, 2019

South Korean comedy, action & fried chicken: Byeong-heon Lee's genre-mash, EXTREME JOB

Of all movie genres, so they say, comedy has the most difficult time crossing cultures. TrustMovies thought about this old saw while viewing the new genre-jumper, EXTREME JOB from South Korea, which turns out to be a pretty odd mix of comedy and violent action.

As directed by Byeong-heon Lee (no writing credit is translated via English subtitles, nor does any writing credit appear on the film's IMDB site), the movie's first half is mostly comedy, while the second part is pretty much violent action scenes. Interestingly enough, the comedic portion works best, with the humor alternately broad and somewhat more subtle, abetted in both cases by noteworthy comedic performances.

Director Lee (shown at right) keeps the comedic action flowing smartly and amusingly, as our team of barely-heroes and a single heroine (above and below) foul up one maneuver after another, much to the dismay of their lawman boss.

There are competing cop teams here, with ours clearly the underdog, and fairly soon the boys and girl have set up shop watching the bad-guy drug-runners from the bizarre home base of a low-end, take-out, fried-chicken establishment.

Via the usual coincidental-if-manipulative plot machinations, the team ends up buying the restaurant and coming up with such a fabulous fried-chicken recipe that the place becomes a record-breaking crowd pleaser.

The five leading performers here are each good/funny enough to often surmount the silliness on view and make the movie at least watchable. But even their good work isn't quite enough to compensate for some really ridiculous plot devices that crop up during the second half.

By the time it is revealed -- with literally nothing to back this up -- that each member of our dumb-ass team is a crack martial arts fighter of one sort or another, you'll be scratching your head and murmuring, Huh?, even as they are taking out what amounts to a small army of villains. Ah, well, it's the movies, right?

Extreme Job goes on too long, too. By the time we reach the final fighting match between the hero and his nemesis, you'll be hoping someone cries "uncle" as soon as at all possible. Still, for those willing to suspend disbelief, logic and pretty much all else, the movie may just pass muster.

From CJ Entertainment and running 111 minutes, Extreme Job opened this past Friday in Los Angeles and Buena Park and will hit major cities all across the US and Canada this Friday, February 1. To locate a theater near you, click here, and then click on Find a Theater, then keep clicking on View More until you locate something near you.

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