A Taxi Driver (2017)

US Well Go USA Entertainment Blu-ray edition Region A

Text below written 2018-12-10


A Huge Blockbuster in South Korea 2017 and box-office wise only 2nd to fantasy Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds. Another film about
the 1970's presidential dictatorship and/or the military coup and dictatorship of the 1980's, here about the May 1980 uprising in Gwangju
only some 7 months after the military grabbed the power. Song Kang-ho is fantastic in the role as the Seoul taxi-driver who risked his life
for getting the outside world to know about the brutality of the regime against it's own citizens. The mass-killings of protesters.

What an actor he is, and he reprises somewhat his role in the 2013 The Attorney, where he played a lawyer. In both films he plays a man,
at first politically uninterested and naive, but who turns into a fighter for democratic rights. Both films are based on true events.

A drama-thriller with some melodrama and slightly out of place comedy, but hey, this is a South Korean film and a mainstream blockbuster such.
Again, Song Kang-ho is a joy to behold, what a charisma and presence, and he obliterates the other actors, even though Yoo Hae-jin as a local
taxi-driver is fine too. For me Song Kang-ho, he's so relaxed, made this film a winner but it has it's pluses and minuses.

Plus: Song Kang-ho, the cinematography, the riot scenes and the cute green taxi car
Minus: Bad action scenes as the building, roof and yard chase and the tagged on melodramatic local taxi-drivers chase

Regarding the element of melodrama. The Gwangju uprising is one of the big tragedies in South Korean history where the fascist military
killed as many as 600 people, torture and rape too (and probably the good old CIA gave a helping hand here too, as always) so some tragedy
moments and tear-jerking scenes have to be allowed for the filmmakers here

The film takes place mainly during one day, the 20th of May 1980.
Martial law has been declared by the Junta, universities are closed and strikes and demonstrations are forbidden. The city of Gwangju has been
closed off and there are rumours about riots and killing of protesting students, but no news leaks out. German journalist Peter Hinzpeter
(played by Thomas Kretschmann, known to me only for his role as the nasty killer rapist in Dario Argento's The Stendahl Syndrome) arrives to
Seoul and the taxidriver Kim Man-seob (Song) drives him to Gwangju by back-roads, with the main roads sealed off by the military.
Peter and, the at first politically uninterested, Kim gets involved with the locals, students, taxi-drivers, and witnesses the rioting on the streets
and the massacre and mass-shootings of the protesters. Can they stay alive and bring Peter's footage out of the city and back to Seoul ?

The Building, roof and yard chase scene: Ridiculous and obviously the old Time and Relativity on film enigma when a horde of soldiers can't
manage to run up a short stair while the bad guy military security boss talks to Peter & Kim for quite a while, what happened got stuck somehow?
Another well known Quantum physics hit cinema case is when a nude sprinter teenage girl can't distance a slow-moving slasher maniac.

The film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a korean DTS-HD MA 5.1 or 2.0 stereo audio with english subtitles, trailer, previews
Region A release

 

Back to South Korean film page