Exit (2019)

exit

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A man with no life goals is set to find himself in a race against time and become a hero in this Korean thriller from Lee Sang-Geun.

During his days in college, Lee Yong-Nam was one of the best rock climbers in the sport. However, since graduation, things have not looked promising for him. Still living with his parents, Yong-Nam can’t find a job or even get a date. People see him as nothing more than a deadbeat who has no future. However, Yong-Nam has no idea what fate has in store for him when the family celebrates the matriarch’s 70th birthday at a lavish party near Amgil Station.

As the party goes on at the Dream Garden restaurant near the top floor of a building, Yang, a notorious scientist who was fired from his company, has decided to exact revenge by unleashing a deadly toxic gas he created in the city. When one of the partygoers falls victim to the gas, the group soon learns that the gas is rising. When Yong-Nam and restaurant vice manager Eui-Ju decide to stay behind when a rescue team arrives, the duo begin to bond and grow closer as it becomes a race against time to avoid the gas and find another rescue team before they fall prey to the deadly toxin.

Disaster films have been quite the rage for a long time and this new Korean film from Lee Sang-Geun brings something extremely fresh to the table. The idea of a lethal gas unleashed by a disgruntled chemist and the fact that people must attempt to avoid it by going up rather than through it is astonishing. Add to the mix the most unlikely of protagonists. If this was made in the 1980s, it would be guaranteed that Hollywood would have cast someone like Stallone, Schwarzenegger, or Willis to take on the role of the hero. However, this is 2019 and even today’s action films can have the unlikeliest of heroes emerge.

Enter Cho Jung-Suk, who plays the reluctant but eventual hero Lee Yong-Nam. Yong-Nam is first seen as someone who seems like a deadbeat with a passion for rock climbing. He is ridiculed by virtually everyone around him, mostly his parents, sister, and even some local kids while his nephew stands by him. However, when his sister gets sick from the eventual toxin, it begins to trigger something in Yong-Nam, something that makes him the eventual hero of the piece. As a rock climber, the audience will get a chance to see Yong-Nam put his skills to the rest in a real-life dire situation.

Lim Yoona plays restaurant vice manager Eui-Ju, who finds herself constantly harassed to go on a date with her superior and she feels objectified by him. She eventually finds herself in the same situation with Yong-Nam and when Eui-Ju offers to stay behind during the rescue mission, Yong-Nam feels compelled to stay with her as a means to protect her as the two works out some tension to get the job done. The situation also allows Yong-Nam to serve as a mentor to Eui-Ju when it’s needed the most. The film gets more and more intense as more victims fall to the deadly toxin and the police and fire departments must find a way to stop more death from happening.

Exit starts out as a perhaps comedy that soon transitions into a serious action film. A fun action-packed disaster film with the unlikeliest of heroes.

WFG RATING: B+

CJ Entertainment USA presents a Filmamaker R & K production. Director: Lee Sang-Geun. Producers: Ryoo Seung-Wan, Kim Jung-Min, and Kang Hye-Jeong. Writer: Lee Sang-Geun. Cinematography: Kim Il-Yeon. Editing: Lee Gang-Hui.

Cast: Cho Jung-Suk, Lim Yoona, Go Doo-Shim, Park In-Hwan, Kim Ji-Young, Kang Ki-Young, Kim Jong-Gu, Kim Byung-Sun, Hwang Hyoeun, Lee Bong-Ryun.

CJ Entertainment will release the film in Los Angeles on August 2, followed by a limited U.S release on August 9.

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