Exit (PG)

Starring Cho Jung-Seok, Yoona, Goh Doo-Shim

Directed by Lee Sang-Geun

At some point in your life, you’ll find a use for every useless talent you ever had. In the case of Yong-Nam, the jobless protagonist in this action-comedy, played by Hit-and-Run Squad’s Cho Jung-Seok, it’s his underappreciated rock-climbing prowess which he gets to showcase during a crisis.

Luck, as the saying goes, is where opportunity meets preparation. And Yong-Nam is very lucky. Following a chemical gas attack, downtown Seoul is enveloped by toxic smoke, forcing people to take cover on skyscraper rooftops, where they’re evacuated by helicopters. But not everyone is rescued.

Yong-Nam and a fellow climber and one-time romantic interest (Girls’ Generation’s Yoona) — what are the odds of them stranded together?! — are left behind. On their own, the skilled scalers have to outrun the rising noxious vapour by ascending one high-rise building after another, kind of like what happened in the climax of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Part underdog caper, part disaster picture, Exit is entertaining enough without being too exciting. The likeable leads have good chemistry together but their scenes have this fluffy rom-com vibe that dilutes the cliffhanging thrills.  

On top of that, the death-defying stunts never seem that, well, death-defying. They’re well staged but never reach the vertigo-inducing heights of those seen in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and the Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo. In fact, you’ll probably exit the movie feeling a bit cheated. In Korean with English and Chinese subtitles. (**1/2) 

Photo: Golden Village