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Review: In ‘Fabricated City,’ it’s not clear where the game ends and the movie begins

‘Fabricated City’
A scene from the South Korean film “Fabricated City.”
(CJ Entertainment)

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.

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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’

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 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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