[REVIEW] Fabricated City

Fabricated City is the latest high speed action Korean flick to hit the screens.

Kwon Yoo (Ji Chang-wook) is your typical jobless gamer who’s not only lazy, but also mooches off his single mom. Online, however, he’s a revered leader of a ragtag group of soldiers, nicknamed ‘Resurrection’. One day, he wakes up and finds himself framed for a high profile murder of a teenage girl, and gets sent to jail.

What’s a guy to do? Find vengeance, of course.

This is where the plot unravels in a very strange (and convenient) way. First, Kwon Yoo is not just your average gamer, but an ex-national taekwondo athlete, so his escape from prison was made that much easier. Apparently, he was also into stunt driving.

Second, he is actually rescued by his online teammates, who – despite not looking at all like tough soldiers in their online game – are a motley crew of social outcasts. Each member has their own unique skill, including a gifted hacker (the only female member), an engineer, and a ‘special effects crewmember’.

The crew’s skills provide a convenient bag of tricks in order to deal with the well-funded real culprits. Cue over-the-top ‘homemade inventions’, like drones that can scan buildings for electrical signals, or listen in on conversations from outside windows.

Throw in cliches like a prison gangster, corrupt politicians, and a lunatic public defender, and you’ve got a recipe that’s K-drama on adrenaline. But let’s not kid ourselves. The main reason to watch this flick is for the action, which it delivers by the bucketload.

Most of all, it’s the unbelievable stunts that leave the audience with their mouths hanging open.

To appreciate this movie, you’ll have to suspend belief – and physics – and imagine an action flick where the hero can actually see in the dark so well (thanks to his stint in prison) that he can perform ‘rice sonar’, or is capable of driving a tiny – and doorless – car out of a second story carpark and still be in one piece for a car chase.

Pretty boy Ji Chang-wook certainly steals the screen, but fans won’t be seeing anything resembling the bathhouse scene out of K2 (sorry). Instead, there’s a fun camaraderie amongst the good guys, with adequately funny scenes thrown in courtesy of the token ‘fat guy’.

Fabricated City may want to be a story lamenting about the socioeconomic inequalities between the social misfits and the political elites, but it’s wrapped in plenty of action bubblegum that makes it easy to cast it off as just another action flick.