TUNNEL – A Review By Nick Askam

TUNNEL still 2

 

I was not expecting this film. It came out of nowhere for me because I don’t keep up with foreign film as well as I should. So, I was surprised when I saw this film and amazed at how a good movie might’ve passed me if I wasn’t paying attention. This film is doing very well in Korea. It’s #1 in the box office and after watching, I understand why. It’s intense, funny, and a great time. Each time the film starts to slow down, something happens and I’m forced right back into it. There’s a great feeling of knowing nothing about a film before going in and then recommending it to all your friends as you finish the film.

This a story about a man who gets trapped in a tunnel on his way home from work. Then, it’s shown from his perspective inside the tunnel that mirrors the perspective of rescue teams and the media outside the tunnel. It’s a struggle on both fronts and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There’s a strange blend of comedy and fear in the film that balances each other out wonderfully. I would say that it’s most like a thriller with hints of comic relief.

I think the best part of the film is how it used the camera to show if a character was feeling pressure. What I mean by this is that in some shots were close-ups, while others were wider shots. I thought they were used well. There were times that I felt claustrophobic because the shot was so close to the man’s face. Other times, it felt like the rescuers couldn’t understand what the man was feeling because of the wide shots. I think the best use of this was when the man was climbing through a metal tube and I just felt a pit in my stomach. I could understand completely what he must be feeling. It was well shot and had great direction. There were some times that I felt pressure with the rescuers as the camera got closer and closer to the characters. It was like I could feel them. When it was time to make huge decisions, I felt like sweating and I could feel the pressure that character was feeling.

I think that the comedy will be underrated. There were several laugh-out-loud moments that I didn’t feel from actual comedies like Sausage Party. I was blown away by how a reporter doing something exaggerated made me die. My favorite joke involves drones and I’ll just leave it at that. I think that most people aren’t expecting the humor (or anything) and that’s why it does so well. I don’t think it ever tries too hard and I liked most of the jokes.

The film struggled a little towards the end in my opinion. I felt like it just ran out of time. I think it had a hard time dispelling all of the emotions that it spend over an hour building. When it finally came down to it, it struggled to deliver a climax that delivered a lot of punch. Even before the final shots, I looked at my clock because I thought there couldn’t possibly be 30 minutes more. I felt like the final shot left me feeling an empty void. Maybe the film wanted the journey to be the special part of the adventure, but I just didn’t feel it.

Overall, I think this was a good movie. I will definitely recommend it to as many people as possible. I think it’s thrilling, scary, and enthralling. I was sucked into the universe and thought that the comic relief moments were great. I wish the ending was a little stronger, but I did enjoy the film. There were some other moments where things disappeared, but I didn’t mind them at all. Next time someone offers you two bottles of water, you must accept.

 

Score: 7 out of 10 

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