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Special Delivery
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Movie Reviews

[FANTASIA ‘22] ‘Special Delivery’ review: Deliriously fun thriller brings the action and heart

Delivers the expected action.

Special Delivery is the newest crime thriller from South Korean director Dae-Min Park, making its North American premiere at Fantasia Festival this summer. This fun action thriller follows Eun Ha, an employee for a delivery service – delivering “anything” that regular carriers can’t. Her boss, Baek, runs this delivery service as a side hustle out of his junkyard business in Busan.

Our main character first appears in a cool bomber jacket and a baseball hat, with blue hair and tattoos on her hands. On the first job we see Eun Ha (So-dam Park, of Parasite) on, she’s told that if she fails the job, she’s dead. She replies by telling her passengers that it’s a $60 fine for not wearing your seatbelt — and then she proceeds to whip her BMW around like an absolute maniac, while nonchalantly sipping her drink. It’s clear from these first moments that So-dam Park is perfect for this role as the way-too-cool and unafraid Eun Ha. 

A montage of Eun Ha and her crew getting ready for the next job calls back to 80s action movies, with synth music pumping as the team fixes up her car and reviews maps, planning out just how this mission will be carried out. Eun Ha knows this job is going to be messy, but she has no idea just how messy it’s going to end up, and all their planning will be for naught.

Enter former baseball player Kim Du-Shik and his son, Seo-won. Du-Shik is in some serious hot water with some high profile and dangerous gangsters — he owes them quite a lot of money, and has a bank security fob that the gangsters are desperate to get back. In trying to get away from the gangsters, Du-Shik is separated from his son. Seo-won ends up being Eun Ha’s only passenger. To say that she isn’t thrilled by this is an understatement. Now she’s got to figure out what to do with the kid, and how to get paid for the job. 

Special Delivery absolutely delivers on the violence expected of crime thrillers such as this one. Dae-Min Park does not hold back when it comes to showing brutal punches and gore. There are a few moments that will really make you cringe. Dae-Min Park fills Special Delivery with excellent fast-paced chase scenes, both on foot and by vehicle. Eun Ha is absolutely a pro at what she does, and it is so much fun to watch her outwit both the gangsters and the corrupt cops – including a police Captain – who are after her and Seo-won. 

Special Delivery cuts back and forth between Eun Ha and Seo-won’s journey and the police who are after them. The corrupt police Captain has convinced his detectives that Eun Ha is a kidnapper. Turns out, Eun Ha has also defected from North Korea, and the authorities there are after her too. All signs point to the odds being stacked high against the pair of escapees. 

As noted, So-dam Park’s performance is excellent, but young Hyun-Jin Jung (who was also in Parasite!) is perfect as Seo-won. He manages to provide plenty of comedic relief in the film, while also tugging on the heartstrings of both Eun Ha and the viewer. Somehow, you’ll never get sick of his weird interjections of burps. Both lead actors are absolute gems, and they make a great unlikely duo. Also tugging on heartstrings is Chubby, Eun Ha’s adorable orange cat who she keeps tabs on through a nanny cam. 

Boosted by an excellent soundtrack and gorgeous shots of Seoul at night, Special Delivery is a fun film of corrupt cops and gangsters, but it’s also got a lot of heart. It’s always great to see a female star in an action film filled with car chases — take that, stereotypes! — and this more than capable cast impresses at every sharp turn. 

Special Delivery makes its North American premiere at Fantasia Festival on July 14th. 

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