Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Fabricated City: Gamer Gets Played
takes a real piece of scum to make a lay-about millennial slacker look
sympathetic, but an attorney should do the trick. Min Chun-sang will do in
spades. He is no mere crooked mouthpiece. The supposed public defender is
really the mastermind of a shadowy organization that frames the unemployed and
marginalized for murders committed by their powerful clients. Kwon Yoo is their
latest victim, but the gamer has more game than they anticipate in Park
Kwang-hyun’s Fabricated City (trailer here), which opens
tomorrow in Los Angeles and the Tri-State Area.
all proceeded according to Min’s usual playbook. A cell phone was left for Kwon
Yoo to find, which he readily agrees to return to the owner’s hotel room for a
reward, but finds himself framed for murder instead. Kwon Yoo is referred to
Min, who does a bang-up job defending him. Nobody was supposed to hear from him
once he was safely buried in prison, but the former Taekwondo junior champion
has more fight in him then they bargain for. First, he will stand up to the
beatings meted out by gangster Ma Deok-soo and his men and then he pulls off an
at-large, he will finally meet-up offline with his online gaming team,
Resurrection. Together with their help, especially that of socially awkward
hacker Yeo-wool, he investigates his notorious case. When they figure out Min’s
culpability, they start taking the fight to his network, so he temporarily springs
Ma to do his dirty work.
Min, Oh Jung-se makes one of the creepiest, clammiest sociopaths (bordering on
outright psychopath) you will see in many moons of movies. He is just a vile,
oily dog. In short, he is a convincing trial lawyer. TV heartthrob Ji
Chang-wook is actually pretty impressive in his first film role, dialing up
plenty of righteous outrage as the wronged Kwon Yoo. Shim Eun-kyung (the
original Miss Granny) plays effectively against type as shy, reclusive
Yeo-wool. Kim Sang-ho also takes a bit of a departure from the shlubby figures
he frequently plays, but he records mixed results as the thuggish Ma.
Park stages some nifty car chases and enough
explosions to keep even the snobbiest film critic awake, but the best sequences
involve Resurrection’s sneaking and scheming. It is a super-slick thriller that
never feels its running time (just over two hours, which isn’t as excessive as
it sounds, by Korean cinema standards). Recommended for fans of Korean and “wrong
man” thrillers, Fabricated City opens
tomorrow (2/17) at the LA and Buena Park CGV Cinemas and the Edgewater
Multiplex in New Jersey.
Labels: Korean Cinema