Dir: Baek Wun-hak
Star: Kim Seok-hun, Bae Doo-na, Park Sang-min, Jeong Jun

The best Korean genre pics add a spin to the usual concept, ending up with something refreshingly different, such as My Wife is Gangster or Attack the Gas Station!. Tube doesn't quite do that, playing like a slightly dodgy Joel Silver movie. The basic concept (peeved ex-Government agent hijacks an underground train for revenge - only one man can prevent disaster from... etc.) is particularly familiar, though the action sequences are at least done with sufficient conviction to support their credibility. And since we're talking about the likes of driving a motorcycle into a tube station (er, ticket barriers?) and the rider leaping off and catching the back of a departing train, they need all the support they can get.

Of course, there are the usual complications: good guy Jay (Kim) has a secret admirer, a pickpocket called Kay (Bae) - with the villain (Park) called T, one wonders if they chose names by picking letters from a Scrabble bag - and she naturally ends up on the train. The wife of one of the guys in the control centre is there too, leading to a conflict of loyalties. It's here that Baek stumbles, with the characters never convincing the viewer of their emotions, and the director seems happier with set-pieces like the cool airport shootout which opens the film. Between there and the very un-Hollywood finale, little beyond the presence of subtitles will remind you this isn't a Keanu Reeves film.

June 2004

Delays due to a 
terrorist on the line...
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