A passenger jet takes off for a long voyage, during said voyage a passenger releases a bio-terror threat. As the passengers get sick one by one, the jet takes the decision for an Emergency Declaration.
Written and directed by Jae-rim Han, the film plays with fears of flying, fears of bioterrorism, and fears of the unknown, mixing them in potent way that creates a stressful situation and film to watch. While the film is a bit on the long side at about two and a half hours, the film still manages to create and maintain tension, especially closer to the end where things go to eleven and just don’t let up at all. The strongest point here is how the film creates emotions for not just the passengers, but also for their loved ones on the ground, and the people in charge trying to get them landed somewhere. This is a strong film with good writing and directing, just needing a bit of tightening here and there.
What really sets this film about from other similar titles is the acting. Here it absolutely solid. Somewhere between Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and the rest of the cast, it’s a talented group and they give fantastic performances. Fans of Lee Byung-hun in particular will be incredibly happy with his work here, he’s the standout and the reason to check this film out. The rest of the cast of course is talented and directed to work in tight environments and in highly emotional parts at times. This is a film where the cast gets to really play with emotions and show what they can do.
The film’s cinematography and editing is fantastically on point here, not shying away from anything happening and really giving the film an energy and a mood that escalates as things advance. Of course, the editing could have helped the runtime a bit, but the main issue with this is not in how the scenes are editing, but more in how many scenes there are. A solid half hour could have been trimmed without hurting the story all that much and it would have helped viewers stick with the film throughout.
As it is Emergency Declaration is a solid bioterrorism thriller that would be even better if the story was just a little tighter. The writing is solid, the acting fantastic, and the technical side works, it just needs a bit of a trim.