Review

In 'Fabricated City,' it's not clear where the game ends and the movie begins

True to its English-language title, the South Korean action film “Fabricated City” is an amped-up video game vision of a revenge fantasy that’s so preoccupied with switching gears that it neglects to provide viewers with any place to park their battered attention spans.

Unemployed and unmotivated, Kwon Yu (Ji Chang-wook) is a hardcore gamer referred to as  “Captain” by his teammates (heard but not seen), who are collectively known as Resurrection.

But Kwon-yu lands in non-virtual hot water after returning a cellphone left in an Internet cafe to its female owner. He subsequently finds himself framed for her rape and murder and tossed into a maximum security prison where his tae kwon do background serves him well.

It isn’t long before he busts out, and, with some real-world assistance from Resurrection, proceeds to track down the identity of the actual killer.

With his first effort since his debut 2005 hit, “Welcome to Dongmakgol” (a.k.a. “Battle Ground 625”) writer-director Park Kwang-hyun certainly keeps the visual energy aloft with its frantic genre-splicing, but the over-the-top approach ultimately plays out like several years’ worth of Super Bowl commercials strung out end to end.

In the absence of a sturdier backbone, “Fabricated City” possesses all the relatable character dimension of an extremely unimaginative gamer tag.

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‘Fabricated City’

 In Korean with English subtitles

Not rated

Running time: 2 hours, 6 minutes

Playing: CGV Cinemas, Los Angeles; CGV Cinemas, Buena Park

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