Fasten your seatbelts, you’re in for a wild ride. Well, you are if you watched this. If you haven’t watched the movie Fasten Your Seatbelt, go find it, come back and laugh with the rest of us.
Here in New York I am lucky enough to have access to the Free Korean Movie Night put on by the Korean Cultural Service. Last week, I hadn’t really planned on going to the movie as I had lots of stuff to do, but it was so freaking hot and I’m sadly a/c-less, I had a really crappy day trying to get the tickets I wanted for KCON, and figured what better way to get rid of my cranky-pants than a free Korean movie in a hopefully a/c blowing theater.
So I went in blind, not really knowing what the movie was about, I just knew it was a comedy with a weird poster about an airplane that couldn’t land. Now me and Korean movie comedies don’t really get a long–my cup of tea does not include slapstick–so my expectations were fairly low. Really low.
I’m happy to say–I was completely wrong–this movie was awesome!! (Yes, it warranted 2 exclamation marks.) It was exactly what I needed to completely obliterate Stephanie’s no good, very bad day. The writing was sharp, the characters, while over the top, were not cringingly so, the soundtrack was spot on (I actually stayed through the entire credits to listen), and unexpectedly, it really made me think.
A big surprise, which I didn’t expect as I didn’t recognize him from the poster, the movie stars Doctor’s Son (Jung Kyung Ho) as a spoiled and cranky Hallyu star on his way from Japan where his movie, Mr Expletive, is a huge hit.
I have to say, I’m really enjoying Jung Kyung Ho, I’ve seen him in 4 different roles so far, and in every one he is so completely different, I barely recognize him. It’s a skill to be able to slip so seamlessly into a character, and he has it. I wonder if this is a good thing, career-wise.
Anyway, the funny thing about his character the fact that he’s styled after BigBang’s GDragon. What I like is how, throughout the movie, as the stress level creeps upwards, a layer of clothing comes off. His jacket, his scarf, jewelry, etcetera, until finally at the end of the film he’s in jeans and a plain shirt–as if the stress is slowly peeling off the pretense, stripping away the famous and leaving him broken. It’s also telling that once the plane finally lands and he realizes he’s not going to die, the layers, the shell gets put back in place one accessory at a time.
At first I was really disappointed with the ending as he settles back into the person he was at the start of the drama (well, except now he smells like pee). As the movie went along, and he kept talking about how he’d wronged his girlfriend and begged god for a chance to make it up to her–so you really think that once he gets off that plane, safe but his dignity in tatters–he would go and reconcile with her. But then you realize the woman in the back of the plane who slapped him wasn’t actually his girlfriend but someone he cheated with, and then when he finally gets gets the phone number for the Japanese flight attendant–you realize his change wasn’t going to stick.
The end stuck with me for a while. Yes, I realize not everything has to have a rosy ending, but I was a little let down–however, as I thought about it–I’ve not only made peace with the ending, but realized it was perfect and more realistic. In times of crises who hasn’t freaked out, prayed to whoever, made promises or bargains in order for everything to work out? And who hasn’t, once the crisis has passed, drifted back to normal, slipping back into our regular patterns, forgetting the promises we made?
So the fact that everyone is exactly the same person at the end of the drama as they were at the beginning (except for the dead guy of course), it’s a bit of commentary on human nature snuck in between laughs.
The mixture of crazy characters–the complaining businessman who turns out to be a paparazzi, the executive and his heart condition who was, if I’m not mistaken, watching porn throughout the movie, and his assistant who kept a insisting the actor stop swearing, to the flight crew who refused to wear pants was just the right amount of kooky without overly stepping the line into slapstick.
Despite being stuck in a plane, there was action with the the attempts to land the plane and even a fight scene which made me laugh so hard. “My finger! It went all the way in!”
I completely recommend this movie to anyone looking for a fun time and even I can’t wait to watch it again.
Thanks, Korean Movie Night!
If you are in the NYC area and are interested in Korean Movie Night, you can check out their website here. Fasten Your Seatbelt kicked off an action series. Next up is Hyun Bin’s Fatal Encounter (I’ve seen it so I’ll pass) and then is The Huntresses (I’m super-duper bummed I’m going to be off at KCON when this one is playing–I’ve really wanted to see it) the last movie is The Roaring Currents