Mix heaps of action, wit, and flashy cars with the electrifying energy of the 80s and what do you get? Netflix’s latest hip and badass flick Seoul Vibe.
The Korean film premiered on the streaming platform on Aug. 26, and it is set to take you on an exciting race back to 1988, with a lot of twists and eye candy along the way.
Seoul Vibe follows a crew of baby-drivers, called the “Sanggye-dong Supreme Team,” who is tasked by a prosecutor to unravel the money laundering scheme of the country’s past administration during the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Directed by Moon Hyun Sung, Seoul Vibe features a cast led by Hallyu superstar Yoo Ah In as Supreme Team’s leader and best drifter Dong-wook, alongside Koh Kyung-Pyo as spy DJ John Woo, Lee Kyoo-hyung as human navigator Bok-nam, Park Ju-hyun as fierce biker and Dong-woo’s sister Yoon-hee, and Ong Seong-wu as Sanggye-dong’s own MacGyver Joon-gi.
Still not convinced? Here are the reasons to stream the seat-throttling movie right about now.
Hot rides and car chases
Seoul Vibe will take you on a wild drive back to the 80s right from the get-go. The film starts with a scene taken from the eyes of Joon-gi as he and Dong-woo drive through the rough sand terrain in Saudi Arabia, making you feel as if you're part of the action.
For the rest of the film, you get to be in the front seat of the gang's heart-stopping races in the streets of Seoul, where each of the Sanggye-dong Supreme Team will flaunt their masterful drifting.
These car chases are made more realistic with the use of hot rides pimped up by the team, starting from their black and muscular Pony pickup, Galchi family's red Brisa, Prosecutor Ahn's white Grandeur, Pride, Concord, and BMW M5, among others.
Hyping up the car action is the Seoul Vibe's funky music, which the film's production team created to resemble a seamless mixtape that runs from the film's opening sequence to the ending credits.
Nostalgic old-school fashion
The 80s is known for its loud fashion consisting of baggy jeans, big hair, chunky accessories, and bright jackets. This decade’s fashion speaks cool, and when it’s the Sanggye-dong Supreme Team who wears them, it’ll be hard to look away.
Seoul Vibe is a feast for the eyes with how its designer, Choi Eui-young, brings to life the vibrant colors and the vivacious outfits of 1988. Nostalgic-evoking pieces were used to bring out the personality of each character, with Netflix using world-famous 80s hip-hop musicians Run-DMC and N.W.A as reference for Dong-woo's style.
This snazzy driver's fashion is complete with bold gold accessories, as seen in the first part of the film where he rocked an all-black outfit with a chunky gold necklace as the highlight.
“I put a lot of thought into that because I wanna say that I’m cool and I’m hip,” Ah In said about the outfit during the Seoul Vibe online press conference attended by PhilSTAR L!fe and other members of the press on Aug. 23.
“But because of that necklace, it shows how ostentatious I was," Ah In continued. "So I think that really clicked with Dong-woo’s character—that was the fantasy he was chasing at.”
For DJ John Woo's outfits, Eui-young used the bright and bold streetwear that musicians of the decade have worn. Meanwhile, the group's maknae (youngest member) Joon-gi pulls off a playful and youthful vibe with the 80s skater style.
Yoon-hee is charming and chic in her gender-neutral clothes inspired by Madonna's iconic punk look, while Bok-nam is often in his yellow cab-driver uniform, which still passes as trendy. Other than that, the eldest brother of the group is rocking stonewashed jeans, denim-on-denim outfits, and aviator sunglasses.
Sanggye-dong Supreme Team, also known as “Bbangku fam,” consists of folks who are all unique in their own ways.
Ah In, for one, said that Dong-woo is “very trend-conscious and pretentious and he loves external influence from the West. He has fantasies about the western world.”
Unlike his easygoing buds, Dong-woo is reserved and always keeps his head in the game. “He has a dream and seeks after that dream,” Ah In said. “He’s a very passionate fellow as well.”
Meanwhile, Kyo-hyung revealed that his character Bok-nam is the group’s navigator on and off the road. “He is the eldest brother, taking care of the mental health, finances, and really playing the spiritual leader to these guys,” Kyo-hyung said.
Yoon-hee, the only female character in the group, was described by Ju-hyun as “the president of the national bike association in the film.” She also brings “great energy” to the gang with her “big heart” and charm.
Joon-gi, played by Seong-wu of K-pop group Wanna One, is described by the singer as “truly the golden maknae" of the team. “He’s very sweet, endearing, lovable — he’s like the mascot of the group. He’s also a genius engineer and a car mechanic,” Seong-wu added.
Despite all their differences, Dong-woo and his friends make up for a wacky gang that sticks together through and through. The group is a combination of lighthearted characters who, at the same time, are laser-focused on fulfilling their goals.
These goals include living out the American dream, which Attorney Ahn (Oh Jung-Se) promised to the team when he coerced them into taking the mission of creating slush funds for President Kang (Moon So-ri).
The almost-impossible task, which involved car chases, death threats, and (spoiler alert!) a kidnapping, tested and proved the unbreakable bond of the Bbangku fam.
Subtle yet striking plot
During last Wednesday's press conference, director Moon Hyun Sung and the cast described Seoul Vibe as a "lighthearted" and "energetic" film, which only has one goal: to entertain people. With its hot rides, groovy music, and the stars' outfits, there is no doubt that the movie will succeed in doing its core purpose.
Visuals aside, Seoul Vibe features a story that is subtle and, in a way, powerful. Apart from focusing on the vibrant energy of the 80s, the film tackles the anomalies and corruption of its greedy made-up government.
It's no secret that movies involving politics come with murder and violence at the minimum. And when a group of youngsters, not to mention with dreams of living abroad, is tasked to do the almost-impossible mission of exposing the government's dirty secrets, what do you expect to get?
Seoul Vibe is now available for streaming only on Netflix.