Review: Quick (2011)

Directed by:
Cast: , ,

Distributed in Australia by:

Han Gi-su (Lee Min-ki), a street racer in a biker gang in his (relatively recent, judging by his looks!) youth, is a courier who’s good at his job and very, very fast on a motorcycle. One day, he picks up an unusual job: he’s couriering a young lady across the city to a K-pop concert that she’s supposed to be on stage for. As she gets on to the bike and puts on his helmet, though, there’s an ominous beep, and a heads-up display on the visor starts counting down from thirty minutes. A disguised voice calls his mobile and issues instructions: deliver the package we’ve stowed on your bike before the time limit, or else…

Yup, you’ve guessed it: Quick is extremely reminiscent of 1994’s Speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. It’s not a remake, though — it swipes the core concept of a booby-trapped vehicle and an anonymous villain giving instructions from afar, and then ups the ante considerably.

Right from the word go, hapless hero Gi-su finds that he doesn’t just have to save his companion, but work out what to do when the packages he’s couriering explode on delivery. And the girl on the back of his bike isn’t just some K-pop starlet — it’s his ex-girlfriend Chun-sim (played by Kang Ye-won), from back in his street racing days.

On the debris-strewn tail of Gi-su’s speeding motorcycle is Myeong-sik, a policeman who’s also a former street racer with a grudge against Gi-su, played very much for laughs by Kim In-kwon, plus a bevy of other detectives who spend much of the film scratching their heads and trying to work out what’s going on.

And that’s another point of departure from Speed. Quick is fast and action-driven, but it’s a comedy as well, with much of the humour driven by Myeong-sik’s antics on the chase and Chun-sim’s airhead persona. There’s a lot of shouting and carrying on, with all the characters given an opportunity to do some scenery-chewing, but it’s all in service to the main focus of the film: the action and explosions.

And there’s plenty of both. I note that amongst the recent credits to producer Yun Je-gyun’s name are 2011 oil-rig monster movie Sector 7 and 2009’s tidal wave disaster flick Haeundae. Both films were similarly heavy on action sequences or CGI and light on story, but lacked this film’s sense of fun which does somewhat redeem it in my eyes.

It also helps that the CGI is less obvious: the motorbike scenes look much more real than Sector 7’s green-screen approach, and someone who takes great pride in their work has crafted Quick’s parade of cars flipping over and exploding buildings. The Jackie Chan-style behind-the-scenes reel that plays over the end credits definitely shows that a lot of effort (and stuntman hospital time!) went into putting the motorcycle stunts together.

All in all, worth a watch if you want some slickly produced explosion-heavy silliness of an evening.

6.5 somersaulting cars out of 10.
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