Thu, Oct 08, 2009
my paper
Chat, hug... Asian disaster movie-style


I'VE never been to Korea, so I better go there for authentic kimchi before the tidal wave sweeps everything away.

Hey, don't look at me.

I'm no party pooper; I didn't flush the toilet. That bye-bye scenario is according to Haeundae: The Deadly Tsunami.

It's about gigantic ocean waves which engulf a South Korean city, destroying more buildings and wiping out more people than Godzilla and King Kong in a tag-team combo.

One of the main fellas is a thick-headed fisherman who doesn't know how to say 'I love you' to a pretty woman longing for him.

Man, of all the game-over events that were about to happen, I kept yelling to that idiot: 'Dude, get a room with the babe before it's too late!'

As you know, every disaster flick worth the salt of its seawater wants you to care for its people.

Like Leo and Kate in Titanic or Bruce Willis and his bald head in Armageddon.

But Asian disaster films carry 'caring' to a whole new level.

In contrast, when I see an angmoh goodbye-everyone thingy, I want to kill everybody in the show. For being basically stupid in Poseidon to The Day After Tomorrow, and for being Nicolas Cage in Knowing.

Saw that crazy deal about a plane crash, train wreck, aliens and Nostradamus-style bad tidings?

Nic went so angsty in his why-am-I-in-this-movie manner I was one step away from going postal on him with a water gun. When it comes to Asian extinction deals, instead of wishing to kill everyone, I want to kill myself.

That's usually just about the time when the main characters take their own sweet time to say meaningful things to each other while a person like me screams to tell them that the ground is about to crack open or the humongous fire's coming.

I remember one climactic moment - it may be in The Sinking Of Japan or 252 Signal Of Life, I'm not sure - where a heroic rescuer at the bottom of a hole had time to yak when the audience was urging him to shut the heck up and get his a** up a rope.

In Haeundae, the annoyingly dumb guy made me sick going on and on with his gal, not realising that she really dug him.

I'll tell you why I think people seem to have more time in Asian disaster flicks. Asian calamity pics, as befit our yin-yang Zen culture, is about acceptance.

When disaster strikes or Godzilla freaks out, it's because we either made it happen or it's part of the cycle of life.

So, we have more time to chat, hug, kiss, cry or promise to buy Toto next time, since our goose is already cooked more than the duck's.

Hollywood, though, doesn't see end games our way because they don't see any ending. When lava burns, an earthquake hits or Martians attack, it's about Tommy Lee Jones to the rescue in Volcano or Tom Cruise fighting back with Dakota Fanning in his arms in War Of The Worlds. Those guys over there see The Disaster as an invasion of their privacy, made about 1,000 times bigger.

There's a big-a** end-of-the-world blockbuster called 2012 coming soon in the Disaster Movie Shopping Centre. It's telling, I tell you. At everything- must-go giant discount sales, the angmohs like to head for the counter to grab more.

We, however, prefer to go to the toilet to flush it all away.

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