FILM REVIEW: Extreme Job
The narcotics team works hard day and night, but their performance remains at an all-time low, leading them to become the ugly ducklings of the police department and potentially face dismantlement. Captain Ko gets intel about an international drug deal and embarks on a risky undercover mission with his entire team. In order to establish around-the-clock and up-close-and-personal surveillance, the team takes over a rundown chicken joint across the street from the drug gang’s safe house. But things take an unexpected turn when Detective Ma’s yet unrevealed culinary talents begins to shine, turning the chicken restaurant famous overnight.
Director: Lee Byung-heon
Cast: Ryu Seung-yong, Lee Hanee, Jin Sun-kyu, Lee Dong-hwi, Gong Myoung
Review by Jean Wong
The idea of undercover cops taking on a side job to blend in with their surroundings as they hone in on their target doesn’t seem so ludicrous until the side job takes precedence over their main objective. Extreme Job (2019) uses this premise to tell a hilarious and dynamic story that’s sure to leave you with a belly full of chuckles and excitement enough to last you for the year.
As an action-comedy film, Extreme Job keeps a fine balance between the jokes and the action scenes rather than relying heavily on either one aspect. The film does a good job at alternating between the two, sometimes even combining the two, to bring unexpected and engaging scenes to the table. At times not knowing whether you’re watching an ad for fried chicken or an actual movie, Extreme Job is sure to leave you ravenous. It is definitely not recommended to watch this film on an empty stomach.
The comedic aspect comes in the form of its characters — from an over-enthusiastic newbie to a jaded police chief — as well as overdramatic body gags and facial expressions. Despite being a foreign language film, many of the jokes easily transcend the language barrier to dish out scenes full of humour. With a quirky but perhaps appropriate soundtrack, this film definitely serves the entertainment it promises.
If the characters’ hilarious personalities do not warm up to you, the fact that the narcotics team are the underdogs of the story is sure to have you rooting for them. Though Extreme Job is first and foremost an action-comedy, there is a deeper aspect to the film than jaunty jokes and fight scenes. The dynamics of the narcotics team resemble that of a family rather than just plain old colleagues. Despite the constant jabs they make at one another, it is obvious that they would be willing to support one another in critical moments.
Ryu Seung-yong (as Captain Ko) convincingly executes the role of a police chief who faces disdain both at work and at home for his incompetence. Similarly, Jin Sun-kyu’s outstanding performance as Detective Ma, the foolish one of the five, meant that he succeeded walking the fine line between being silly and being ferocious, as and when the scene called for it. This is not to say that Lee Hanee, Lee Dong-hwi and Gong Myoung did not hold up their own — they seamlessly worked together, resulting in an entertaining and believable narcotics team, even despite the shenanigans they get up to.
Equal parts humour and equal parts action, Extreme Job delivers on its charming cast, wacky storyline, and intense fight sequences. What more could you expect from an action-comedy movie?
Extreme Job (2019) opens on 28 February and will screen at various locations – you can check out the screening details here.