Carter (2022) by Jung Byung-gil

“Your name is Carter. Please trust me if you want us all to live,”

The traditional action blockbuster of the ’90s and ’00s used to be a movie where the story was there to provide a pretty thin foundation for constant action, to the point where you could fast-forward scenes when there weren’t any. As time went on, and Korean cinema introduced elements like “I Saw the Devil” and “The Chaser”, thriller, drama, and social commentary also became part of the particular category, revitalizing it and elevating it to another level. As political correctness became more and more prevalent, these additional elements began to become more intense, sometimes even taking over the action/violence elements. “Carter,” on the other hand, from the director of “The Villainess” seems like a throwback to the action blockbusters of the past, focusing almost exclusively on fairly impressive action, while being ultraviolent. Unfortunately, most of the themes from his previous movie are here as well.

Two months after a deadly pandemic originating in the DMZ has devastated the US and North Korea, “Carter,” a man in his 30s, wakes up in a place where he has no idea where he is. what is there. He doesn’t even remember who he is, at least not until a woman’s voice in his head tells him, “Your name is Carter. Please trust me if you want us all to live”, before asking her to leave the building he is in immediately. However, to do so, Carter has to brutally fight and injure, mao or kill dozens of enemies who seem to be in some kind of criminal organization, in a rather impressive introduction that shares a lot with the respective scene in “The Villainess”. Soon, Carter also learns that he has a mysterious device planted in his head and a lethal bomb in his mouth. Not to mention that the pandemic this time turns people into zombies, his wife and daughter are in danger, and the CIA, South Korea, and North Korea are fighting over him.

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Obviously, the rather weak story and plethora of action genre elements included here don’t make much sense, with the war between the secret services, the man with a bomb inside who doesn’t remember who he is, his daughter in danger, and zombies. , seems more like a tribute to each category cliché than an actual script. This problem actually extends to its progression, with each new twist looking less reasonable, not to mention disconnected from everything else.

Coherence, however, is not where the film aimed at any point, and despite the aforementioned issue, the overly long duration and lack of interest in the “calm” moments (the same problems that were also present in the Jung’s earlier film) the action makes up for it almost completely. Starting with the initial ultraviolent, and continuing with the bikes, the van, the helicopter, the zombie “invasion” and everything else one could think of that could be used in a fight, the complexity here is at the highest level, with the The combination of the cinematography (with extensive use of drones), the frenetic editing, the SFX, the action choreography, the stunts, and the music being truly top notch, into one of the most impressive visuals to ever appear in a movie. action movie. . Finally, the combination of martial arts (with knives), gun-fu, and vehicle pursuit in all its forms works excellently here, adding even more to this complexity. At the same time, the almost total lack of any kind of political correctness essentially benefits this aspect, allowing the film to be ultraviolent, which adds to the entertainment it offers.

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Jung Byung-gil didn’t demand anything in particular from Joo Won for the role of Carter, just to look clueless, powerful, cool and good in his half-naked sprees (including one where he only wears a thong) and in that way, he delivers. to the max.

As mentioned above, “Carter” is one of those movies that could easily jump right into action scenes, while its length is definitely extravagant. However, at the same time, the latter are so impressive and so many, that the film ends up being very entertaining and will definitely satisfy all the fans of old school action.

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