Fantasia 2019 Review: EXTREME JOB Is A Charmer You Absolutely Cannot Miss

Do you like fun? This is the movie for you.

Word is there is already a remake of Extreme Job on the way with the involvement of Kevin Hart. Regardless of who is involved, a remake of the film makes perfect sense. The conceit is one I’m surprised we haven’t seen a million times before. And while it’s sad Western audiences likely won’t just watch the Korean original, they almost certainly will come out for a good trailer filled with familiar faces.

The film centers around a team of five cops who are, for lack of a better word, losers. Their well-meaning but overly complicated stings, combined with their individual quirks, lead more often to professional embarrassment than accolades. As an act of condescension, a recently promoted peer gives them on a lead on how they can possibly take down a big fish (and likely forgo the credit but they’re desperate).

They begin a stakeout across the street from some baddies, holed up in a failing fried chicken shop. It’s the perfect place. The problem is it’s about to go out of business. So, because this is a comedy, they buy it and use the business as an undercover front. And, because this is a comedy, it becomes wildly successful, even when they deliberately try to sink it. Before long, they are more chicken purveyors than cops.

Of course, the world’s most delightful setup wouldn’t matter if its filling does not entertain. Extreme Job’s five main characters all display unique personalities the film uses to heighten the situation in ways that keep the comedy flowing from beginning to end. You learn to love these knuckleheads and want them to succeed both as cops and chicken folk.

There’s no tonal back and forth here, either. The villains are nearly as funny as the heroes, and while there is action, it’s mostly light and fun rather than violent. Nothing gets between Extreme Job and its positive vibes. It’s a feel good movie through and through.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Extreme Job is currently the biggest hit Korea has ever seen, further evidence that an English remake is inevitable. Its quality, however, is not. From casting to executing gags to supplying a perfect third act, a lot of care goes into making a film this endlessly charming. While I’m curious to see what Hollywood cooks up with this premise, I highly recommend you get it in its original, brilliant form first. I simply cannot imagine someone watching Extreme Job and walking away disappointed. It’s an entertainment machine. Just sit back and let it work.

And what the heck, here's a trailer if you're curious: