Action-drama film, “Emergency Declaration” pulled together several of Korea’s top stars – Song Kang-ho (“Parasite”), Lee Byung Hun (“G.I. Joe”) and Jeon Do-yeon (“The Housemaid,” “Secret Sunshine”) – and it first took to the air as a special screening at the Cannes Film Festival, back in July 2021.
Directed by Han Jae-rim, the story involves a veteran police detective who receives a tip-off about an unspecified terrorist threat against a plane. Puzzlingly, he discovers that the chief suspect has got on the flight too. Meanwhile, the political authorities kick into emergency response mode. Fear and chaos spread on the ground and at altitude.
But, unlike the airborne on-screen action, the film remained firmly grounded after its proving flight in Cannes.
“Emergency Declaration” had been expected to be a highlight of Korean cinemas’ 2021 summer season. But that was not calculating with the arrival of new variants of the coronavirus which extinguished a brief late-summer 2021 box office revival in Korea.
The film’s theatrical release got pushed back to December, then January 2022. Further flight plans this year were filed and then scrapped.
Now, with COVID largely contained, “Emergency Declaration” is revving its engines again. It is set for a mainstream theatrical release in Korea in August. That will trigger day-and-date take-offs in North America, Latin America and much of Asia.
(Perplexingly, the cancelations and delays mean that the Cannes 2021 film reaches local cinemas later than 2022 Korean titles “Decision to Leave” and “Broker,” for which Song won the best actor award. Both release this month.)
The revised timetable for “Emergency Declaration” calls for the launch of a new trailer that takes off here.