Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Attack the Gas Station (1999; Kim Sang-jin)

What comes to mind when you read a title like
Attack the Gas Station? Frankly, I had absolutely no idea what to think about it at all. The concept itself is odd, but not the annoying forced odd in films like Tokyo Gore Police that just irritate you. No, it sounded like some form of odd that could almost be compelling if crafted by the right hands.

Four Korean youth decide to attack a gas station.

No matter how I tried to wrap my head around it all, there always just seemed to be something missing. The idea of four trouble makers attacking a gas station hardly seemed like enough material to warrant an entire full length film. How much action could one possibly churn out of a limited cast doing what is essentially only robbing a single store.

Apparently you can derive endless action out of it, as that is exactly what Sang-jin accomplished. While I am not an expert in his works, I must say that after watching this piece a few weeks back that every other film he has done is now on my list of "must watch". Whatever it is that drives him to these ideas is like nothing I have ever seen in any other director before. To be able to craft such a stylized action comedy out of a simple title is just mastery of his craft at work.

I am going to make my analysis brief for this one, as most of the film is spoken for in just the title itself. Don't get me wrong, however, this is not some childish Apatow piece trying to soak up some cash from drug addled teenagers. The comedy in AtGS is both simple and at the same time very much more matured and thought through than what passes as comedy in the US today.

The colors tended to be sharp, adding more of an edge to the action sequences, of which there were many. The music was very much on key with the tone of the rest of the film and the camera never made itself unwelcome. It all shaped up into a breath of fresh air for me, as I no longer felt I had to wait for only the Coen Brothers to craft the comedies I enjoy.

Score: 4.5/5

Score: Attack the Gas Station, otherwise known as A New Way of Applying for Jobs


Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

Jake said...

Well, I'd love to see your blog before I agree to anything else, haha. Mind giving me the link?