EIFF 2022: ‘Special Delivery’ Review
You will probably feel like you have seen some version of ‘Special Delivery’ before. There’s no getting away from the fact that this South Korean action thriller owes some very specific debts to films such as ‘Drive’, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, ‘Baby Driver’, and ‘The Transporter’. Luckily for me, I like all of those films and therefore had a great time with this. If you’re less keen on those movies, this might not be for you.
Written and directed by Park Dae-min, ‘Special Delivery’ stars Park So-dam (best known internationally for her starring role in ‘Parasite’) as Eun-ha, a delivery driver in Seoul. But rather than takeaways and Amazon packages, she is more likely to be delivering stolen goods, ferrying people who are on the run, or being a getaway driver for gangsters and common criminals.
As we so often see with these types of films, her perfectly ordered existence is thrown into chaos when her latest job comes with a package that is being hunted by a lot of very dangerous people. In this case, the package is a small boy in possession of a bank security fob for an account holding millions of dollars.
You already know where this is all heading, but that shouldn’t detract from what is a really fun and well-made film. The action scenes are spectacular, mixing thrilling car chases through the neon lit streets of Seoul, with some brutal and bone-breaking fight scenes. Crucially however, the film balances the gung-ho action and set pieces with some really affecting emotional beats.
It helps of course when you have terrific actors, and ‘Special Delivery’ is blessed with some great performances. Park So-dam is fantastic as the charismatic lone-wolf driver, who ends up having to protect the valuable cub. Hard as nails, all about the job, but she also has a petcam so she can keep an eye on her cat when she’s at work. Very relatable! Threatening to steal the film from her however, is Song Sae-byeok as the sleazy, swaggering villain in pursuit of her and the boy.
‘Special Delivery’ doesn’t shy away from the films it is so clearly influenced by, and it doesn’t set out to reinvent the genre either. It’s just a straight up good-time action flick. If you’re looking for a fun and action-packed Saturday night movie, this slickly made thriller will deliver the goods.