“Quick” is a new super-charged action film from Korean director Beom-gu Cho who also wrote the screenplay…eh…or should I say plot. There is a speedy action-filled prologue introducing the main characters. We are thrown into a Liberation Day bike rally led by Gi-su (Lee Min-ki). He is being followed angrily and vociferously by his recent ex-girlfriend Ah-rom (Kang Ye-won). She is jealous of another girl being on the back of his bike. Things get chaotic, a chase ensues and there is a large vehicular pile up where Gi-Su ends up speeding off alone.
We meet up with him a few years later and he is now a bike messenger in Seoul. He is sent to pick something up at a local radio station. After briefly leaving his bike behind, he finds out his cargo is coincidentally Ah-rom, who is now part of an up-and-coming girl musical group and she needs to quickly get to an advertising gig. When they get back to his bike, unbeknownst to him, his motorcycle helmet has been switched by someone. Ah-rom puts on the helmet, triggering a bombing mechanism. Gi-su receives a cell phone call with instructions to drive around town delivering bombs or the helmet will explode, killing them both.
With the plot all figured out nicely in the first ten minutes, the movie can finally let loose and be the action movie it wants to be and it does so with gleeful style. “Quick” has no problem with its intentions. It wants to be a fun and breezy action film and it succeeds. Much of it plays out like a live action cartoon. Many characters, especially Ah-rom, really portray their characters in an over-the-top style. You almost expect their eyes to start twinkling majestically and for them to have talking animals as friends. Even with that, the characters are likable. The peripheral characters are played more for laughs than the leads. There are many laughs in this film. The two main actors embrace the absurdity of the situation and convey some relatively realistic hyper-hysteria.
There is much hysteria to be had. From the outset, there is a lot of collateral damage in this film. Highway action scenes steal a large amount of the show with several key explosions separating them, concluding with a speeding train scene that is nearly ripped right out of “Speed.” Actually, many of the scenes are very similar to some American action movies such as “Die Hard with a Vengeance”, “Bad Boys II” and “Matrix Reloaded.” There are two scenes in particular that will stand out for any veteran action junkie as being an almost shot-for-shot duplicate.
What makes this film fun, aside from the action and the music, is the stunt work. Many stuntmen and stuntwomen worked on this film, and they put a lot of effort into it. As proof, during the end credits and in its own separate extra, they show the bloody outcomes of the stunts up-close with wounds and all. There is a lot of CGI employed in the film, but the stunt work is real. Some of the effects work amazingly well and some are not so good however, they still lend to the cartoonish feel of the movie so it isn’t terribly detrimental. The effects also help nicely with some of the more ambitious camerawork. Multiple times the camerawork is seemingly “unbroken” as bikes jump off buildings, soar through the air and crash into other buildings across the street. Although not perfectly executed, it’s acceptable within the framework of this film.
Beom-gu Cho shot “Quick” using a Red One MX digital camera. For the blu-ray disc, Shout Factory uses a MPEG-4 AVC encode and is presented in a 2.35 format. The picture is outright stunning. Colors are vibrant and realistically represented. There is a slightly blown-out look to the film at times but that seems to be the director’s intent. There is terrific clarity and depth to the picture. Although I couldn’t find too much information about this, it seems like that the digital video was transferred to a film negative format as there is some definite, albeit minimal, grain to the picture. This is limited to a few of the brighter scenes.
“Quick” comes with four different audio tracks. The primary track is a Korean DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue is very clear throughout. The action scenes are riddled with sounds from every direction and the always welcoming bass is powerful. The other lossless soundtrack is the same except for the voices are dubbed in English. I’d say only use this if you really do not like subtitles. The voice acting is rather dull and lacks the enthusiasm from the real actors. The other two tracks are lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks.
There is a decent amount of extras on the disc. All are in 1080i in a 1:85 aspect ratio. The first two are called Action and CGI which are somewhat repetitive with each other. A lot of the footage in Action can be seen during the end credits. CGI goes a little more in depth with the effects. There is also a trailer for “Quick” and a brief 4 minute feature on the design for the poster. The largest special feature is the “Making of”. There are some interviews but mostly behind the scenes footage of the film being made. It is just over an hour long and you get a real sense of everyone’s dedication to make this a fun and entertaining film.
“Quick” was made with fun in mind and watching it for that reason will leave you entertained. There are some genuinely funny scenes peppered into the action and chaos which lead to a very light-hearted experience. With terrific video and audio and some insightful production-themed extras, “Quick” is recommended for lovers of action looking for a silly time, or viewers who are curious about Korean action cinema. I suppose I would say rent first, just to make sure it’s your cup of tea.