It has been 12 years since director Park Kwang-hyun’s final movie, the wartime comedy Welcome to Dongmakgol, and his follow-up betrays the frustration he has endured over time. Ostensibly a few wrongfully accused gamer making an attempt to clear his identify, Fabricated Metropolis is an element cyber thriller, half jail drama, half tirade towards company corruption. Slickly produced and intermittently entertaining, it however fails to mix these disparate genres to provide a constant tone or type.
One-time tae kwon do champion turned deadbeat on-line gamer Kwon Yu (TV star Ji Chang-wook in his first movie position) finds himself dealing with life imprisonment when he’s framed for the violent rape and homicide of a younger lady. On the within he’s repeatedly crushed by his fellow inmates, till a sympathetic serial killer helps him stage a daring escape. Now the goal of a nationwide manhunt, Kwon is contacted by his workforce of fellow players, who band collectively in an effort to uncover the reality.
Fabricated Metropolis opens with a formidable motion set piece, as Captain (Kwon’s in-game avatar) and his loyal teammates pull off a daring fight mission. Nevertheless, the remainder of the movie fails to reside as much as this explosive opening. Ji struggles to make Kwon genuinely sympathetic, regardless of the infinite barrage of tragedies he endures. Not even the movie’s morally bankrupt, facially scarred villain (Oh Jung-se) could make us care about Kwon’s destiny.
For all its potential, Fabricated Metropolis stays a patchwork of half-realised, undercooked concepts crowbarred right into a generic formulation.