Review: ‘Extras’

The boundaries between real life and reel life get cheerfully blurred in the South Korean "Extras." Possessing more energy than logic, the yarn of day players who become vigilantes could score in some markets outside its home turf but lacks the style and substance to make significant inroads for Korean films.

The boundaries between real life and reel life get cheerfully blurred in the South Korean “Extras.” Possessing more energy than logic, the yarn of day players who become vigilantes could score in some markets outside its home turf but lacks the style and substance to make significant inroads for Korean films.

Park (Lim Chang-Jeong) and Kim (Na Han-Il) are struggling to land big roles in the movies as the film opens. Frustrated with their lot, they use the official-looking prosecutor badges they’ve been given for bit roles to pull a couple of cons, including turning the tables on a corrupt cop. The scams get bigger and bigger, and the two decide to raise enough money to finance their own film.

Kim slows down the process by giving part of their ill-gotten gains to the needy and by investing in a few stunts to avenge wrongdoing to friends. Meanwhile, the authorities are red-faced because the two faux cops are cracking more cases thantheir real-life counterparts.

Director Shin Seung-Soo doesn’t have the finesse of his Hong Kong counterparts, but nonetheless concocts an enjoyable romp. Essentially a series of gags and stunts, “Extras” has a bravura finish and winning cast that make the film an undemanding, diverting entertainment.

Extras

(COMEDY-ADVENTURE -- SOUTH KOREAN)

Production

A Samboo Finance presentation of a Shin Seung-Soo production. Produced by Shin, Yang Jaeh-yuk. Executive producer, Park Keon-seop. Directed by Shin Seung-Soo. Screenplay, Ji Sang-hak. Camera (color), Choi Chan-Kyu; editor, Ko Im-Pyo; music, Shin Byung-Ha; production designers, Cho Tae-Ha, Lee Jong-seon; costume designer, Kim Seor-yung; casting, Kim Min-seong. Reviewed at World Film Festival, Montreal (competing), Sept. 5, 1998. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

Park Bong-Soo ..... Lim Chang-Jeong Kim Wang-Ki ..... Na Han-Il Choi ..... Park Joon-Hee Kany Bora ..... Kim Won-Hee
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