Attack the Gas Station (1999)

June 6, 2002 • Film, Reviews

Directed by Kim Sang-jun

The basic story is four thugs with nothing better to do decide to rob a gas station only to find it has no money. They hatch a plot to pump gas and pocket the change and if the customers get uppity, they just take them hostage.

You wouldn’t think a movie about someone pumping gas all night would be interesting, but the delight of this film comes from the unexpected twists and turns the story takes and its inspired moments of lunacy. One incident piles on top of another as each character jockeys for position in an ever-shifting power game.

Each little event is plausible and they all keep adding up to ridiculous proportions to finish in a sublime, preposterous and satisfying conclusion. It’s a delicate balancing act that can’t possibly work, like a teetering tower of Jinga blocks, but it does.

This film is a rarity: a fun movie that doesn’t insult your intelligence. It stars Lee Sung-jae (Art Museum by the Zoo, Kick the Moon), Yoo Oh-sung (Beat, Friend), and Yoo Ji-tae (Libera Me).

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