Flying on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD November 29th
From writer/director Han Jae-rim (Rules of Dating, The King), the film boasts an all-star cast, featuring the always great Song Kang-ho (Parasite, Snowpiecer), Lee Byung-hun (“Squid Game,” G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Jeon Do-yeon (No Blood, No Tears), Kim Nam-gil (Pandora, Public Enemy 3), Kim So-jin (Escape from Mogadishu, The Drug King) and Park Hae-joon (Believer, Bakugan: Battle Force).
In the film, while investigating a terrorist threat that goes viral online, Korean authorities discover that a suspect has recently boarded an international flight bound for the United States. When a healthy passenger on the same flight suddenly dies a gruesome death of unknown cause, panic erupts both in-flight and on the ground. With steadily decreasing fuel and international refusals to offer aid, the captain and crew are forced to take unprecedented emergency measures in an attempt to save the lives of their passengers.
This is an exemplary contagion thriller that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its peers. Films like Contagion and Outbreak come to mind, ones that leave you with a smile from the thrills and the urge to wash your hands right away. With everyone’s lives affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, there’s no shaking the doom and gloom offered in the film, that sinking gut feeling when the passengers start to get sick, knowing there is nowhere to hide in a place. Han Jae-rim masterfully taps into that dread with a focused and sturdy direction.
With civilians dropping one by one from horrific deaths in the air, and a detective who is meeting road block after road block on the ground to help the people on the plane, there is some terrific tension and thrills. The narrative following the progress above and below is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat as the twists and turns reveal themselves. Some of the best plane action in recent memory, a visceral and gut-churning experience. It’s part disaster flick, part infection thriller with some compelling lead performances. The inflated runtime takes away from some of that built-in urgency and brings the film down at times, but this is overall a solid thriller. Premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and bringing some of the top talents from Korea, this is certainly one you will want to own
4 out of 5
Emergency Declaration has a runtime of 138 minutes and is not rated