The DVD cover art for Flu, a Korean disaster/thriller released last week via CJ Entertainment, gives a rather ominous view of the narrative’s proceedings. Although a gas masked individual holding hands with a little girl as they walk through apocalyptic streets does tell a part of the story, filmmaker Sung-su Kim (The Warrior) effectively balances his ambitious visual design with a more personal view of several individuals who are trying to survive the outbreak.
Kang ji-koo (Hyuk Jang) is a well intentioned rescue worker who, after helping out a seemingly unthankful Dr. Kim (Soo Ae), falls in love with her charmingly distant attitude. Kang’s chances at romancing Dr. Kim, who’s attempting to find the cure for an avian flu that hits the Seoul suburb of Bundang, seem absolutely impossible. That is, until Kim’s absolutely adorable daughter Mirre (Park Min-ha) enters the picture and becomes the de facto soul and spirit of the storyline.
Placing a cute child in peril obviously pulls on the heart strings of many a viewer, and although Sung-su Kim knows how to mount a disaster flick, it’s Mirre’s own perseverance, as well as the growth Kim and Kang’s bond, which gives Flu a refreshing, humanistic tone.
Of course, this isn’t a family drama, and you’re looking for a bit of mass hysteria and a bit of bloodletting, this movie also delivers in spades.
The DVD’s special features includes 9 minutes worth of deleted scenes and two featurettes on the making of the film. One of the featurettes specifically deals with Kim’s work with the actors, so you’ll essentially watch a bunch of b-roll footage and cast interviews, which is perfectly fine if you loved the movie.
The second featurette is a must watch, especially if you want to check out how the director worked with the visual effects artists in crafting the movie’s action sequences. Storyboards are also juxtaposed with how the scenes actually came to fruition, so if you’re into how the CGI complimented Kim’s vision, this segment is a total keeper.
I really enjoyed Flu’suse of humor and family drama, as it infused this disaster flick with an extra level of brevity and a slight touch of gravitas.