Attack the Gas Station (1999)

Dir. Sang-Jin Kim

The is a Korean film with an interesting concept and fun approach (just not fun enough for me). I could see other idiots like Penny and Mitchell enjoying this. My rating is a balance reflects that fact that I liked the concept and some of the direction, on one hand, but wasn’t really entertained, on the other.

The premise is simple: four bored twenty-somethings decide to rob a 24 gas station, and then go back the next night to rob it again. However, on the second night the owner claims that he has turned over most of the money to his wife. The hoodlums then cloister the workers and owner in a room and begin to pump gas. A series of absurd events ensue, with some attempts at social commentary.

The social commentary comes from the background of the four troublemakers. Each one has problems: a promising baseball player whose parents died at a young age; an inspiring rock musician; a not-so-bright brute; and a son of a wealthy and ambitious family. They seem to represent the way humanity and other values get crushed in the Korea’s economic rise. The poignancy of this felt a bit hollow to me.

The other problem I had was that most of the humor just seemed more silly than funny. This is totally subjective, and others may get into it. I also couldn’t buy the fact that these four guys were so formidable that they could hold the group of workers hostage, not to mention beat up other group of thugs that come to the station.

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