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‘Hard Hit’ review: Korean action thriller filled tension

Less ‘Speed’.

Hard Hit will bring images of 1994’s Speed to mind. The movie about a bank manager who learns there is a bomb in his car is a remake, after all. The original is from Spain, however, and instead of a bus, the action takes place in a Genesis luxury car. It would be more appropriate to compare the film to other action thrillers of the 90s rather than the Keanu Reeves blockbuster. For starters, Hard Hit puts less of an emphasis on the bomb while placing them on its main characters. There is no budding love story as instead, the motive is the key issue.

This does not mean the possible explosion is made an afterthought – especially after the bomber shows how far in advance they have planned things out. There is a constant sense of desperation buzzing through Hard Hit. Obviously Sung-Gyu feels it as he races around the city. Not only is he trying to collect the ransom and keep his children safe, he also has to evade the cops.

The mysterious bomber also exudes the same feeling. As Hard Hit progresses, the initial illusion of calm is replaced with a sense of despair. It makes the movie that much more interesting and tense. There is a constant feeling that anything could happen at any time. This also means that a lot hinges on the bomber’s motive. Unfortunately, this does not work as well as the rest of Hard Hit. Most of the film does a great job of mixing action and drama. The true motivations are a little too melodramatic and almost derail the entire script.

Things quickly get back on track leading to an ending that is very suspenseful. Overall, there is plenty of suspension of disbelief needed, but that is often the case in these types of movies. The audience will be forgiving of the premise, as long as they are invested in what is happening. Hard Hit is an entertaining watch that provides a much appreciated adrenaline rush.

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