Special Delivery : ‘Fantasia’ Review – A Thrilling, Emotional Ride That Checks All The Boxes
The line-up for the Fantasia Film Festival 2022 is stacked and ready to roll, the event having premiered on the 14th of this month. Out of the many, many films that I’m excitedly looking forward to watching and reviewing, I chose Park Dae-min’s Special Delivery — a high-octane thriller following an exceptionally-skilled getaway driver, who finds herself at a moral crossroads after one of the “delivery” jobs go horribly awry.
Films about getaway drivers and fast-paced car chase sequences offer a thrill like no other. Be it the suspension of disbelief that one can commandeer a sleek vehicle like a maestro amid a chaotic traffic maze, or the pure adrenaline that accompanies scenes of this variety, there’s something about films like Drive and Baby Driver that are endlessly enjoyable. Dae-min’s Special Delivery aces the best aspects of this particular genre of movies, with the aid of a lead worth rooting for (the ever-charismatic Park So-dam) and a plot that is both thrilling and gutwrenching in parts, making for an eventful adventure that simply delivers.
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As the title suggests, Special Delivery revolves around a unique service that offers clients the ability to transport packages (read: people) from point A to point B, and needlessly to say, the process is extremely risky and illegal, for that matter. Eun-ha (So-dam) is not your average getaway driver — she has mastered the skill of speeding on the road while evading gun-wielding, menacing pursuers, making sure that her passengers reach their destination on time while evading risks in spectacular fashion.
The first gig that we are offered a glimpse into involves transporting a gangster, who is seemingly pursued by those he wronged in some way. Even in the trickiest situations, Eun-ha makes the wildest split-second decisions that work in her favor, remaining cool as a cucumber throughout (there’s a moment in which her passengers are freaking out, the pursuers are at their wit’s end, but she calmly sips a beverage while performing a mid-air special maneuver).
Eun-ha’s blunt and unbothered nature does not extend to sheer coldness, however, as she is a warm, vibrant individual who simply wants to make a living, choosing to snuggle with her fuzzy cat back home and engaging in endearing banter with her boss Baek (Kim Eui-sung). However, her next gig, which involves a client and his son Seo-won (Jung Hyun-jun), goes horribly wrong when a corrupt cop and his henchmen kill the father, leaving Eun-ha stranded with the extremely adorable, but extremely frightened child.
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Although the plot of Special Delivery is nothing out of the ordinary, as it follows the basic premise of a ruthless getaway driver feeling protective towards a traumatized kid and gradually warming up to him, the way in which the events play out is immensely enjoyable. Hyun-jun is compelling as a child who clings to Eun-ha after losing the only person who cared about him, and So-dam is enchanting as Eun-ha for a plethora of reasons. So-dam’s subtlety when it comes to expressing her inner turmoils plays out beautifully, as we are completely in the know when she’s struggling with a decision or has armed herself with the determination to beat up the baddies to protect Seo-won. The villain cop is extremely compelling, showcasing the ugly aspects of greed that compel humans to commit the vilest of acts without remorse.
The ending of Special Delivery is a special one, tugging at the heartstrings in more ways than one while hamming up every other scene with elaborate chase sequences and a lot of tense fights. Petition to see So-dam in more action-heavy films, as it is immensely satisfying to see her whack a goon in the head and drive through the streets like a maniac in the dead of night.