There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned car chase, and director Park Dae-min Special delivery is full to bursting. Borrowing generously from Hollywood firecrackers like The carrier series, baby driverand Conduct; Special delivery is the familiar tale of a driving beast whose usual cold demeanor is tested when it becomes emotionally entangled with its cargo. Derivative, of course, but an exciting watch that focuses heavily on solid track performance and thrilling but grounded stunt driving, Special delivery definitely worth a visit.
Jang Eun-ha (So-dam Park, Parasite) is a special type of driver. She is the one who gets the call when a package absolutely needs to be taken from one place to another, even if there are forces trying to prevent it. Her face is like stone, ice water runs through her veins and she doesn’t shit.
When we find out that Eun-ha has been hired to smuggle a misogynistic local petty gangster from one neighborhood to another in Seoul, her taunts prove to be her undoing. She loses several queues in the tight corners and side streets of the Korean capital, tossing her big-headed passengers like rag dolls, but getting them to their destination safely and on time. The man brags that he has never hired a woman to be anything more prestigious than selling alcohol, but wants to offer her a job. Eun-ha doesn’t have it, she’s found a rhythm and she’s happy.
The next call changes everything. A former baseball star and his son attempt to leave Korea, but shady dealings with throwing games and $30 million hidden from a bigger gangster make it very difficult. Kim Du-shik (Yeon Woo-jin) tries to put his dark past behind him, but the only way out is with Eun-ha’s help. Unfortunately for both of them, Kim’s son, Seo-won (Jung Hun-jun), is the only one to get into the getaway car, and he’s in possession of a key fob that these gangsters will do anything to retrieve. Now, Eun-ha and Seo-won are running for their lives, with murderous crime lords and determined cops on their backs, and there’s very little hope of a clean escape for either. other.
With Eun-ha and Seo-won sharing the screen for most of Special delivery, it’s crucial that the chemistry between the two is perfect, and thankfully, they both deliver. Park So-dam happened to be the star of Parasite a few years ago, and this movie proves that was no fluke with a no-frills performance that Ki-jung was miles from that film. Jung’s Seo-won also performs admirably as a boy fleeing danger he doesn’t fully understand. Somewhere in the ether, a team of ruthless criminals hunt them down, eagerly harassing him for the cameras, but the lead duo keep him respectable.
There is not much particularly new in Special delivery, almost all of the ideas above have been realized elsewhere, and in several cases quite well. However, that doesn’t mean this new iteration can’t be incredibly entertaining and very solid on its own merits. The film loses its way a bit when the characters are introduced a little late in the game, which detracts from the previously very clear linear story, but that’s not enough to distract from the excellent lead actors and solidly thrilling stunts. . Special delivery is a showcase for everyone involved and is certainly worth retrieving.
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