Sunday, April 4, 2021

Space Sweepers / 승리호 - Movie Refview

The Movie: Space Sweepers / 승리호

The Director: Jo Sung-hee

The Cast: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jin

The Story: Set in the year 2092 and follows the crew of a space junk collector ship called The Victory. When they discover a humanoid robot named Dorothy that's known to be a weapon of mass destruction, they get involved in a risky business deal.

The Review:
I really like science fiction movies and especially ones that aren't afraid to go all in with fantastic stories and spaceships and epic battles and all that fun stuff. This probably comes from the original Star Wars being the foundation of why I love movies and writing about them and talking about them so when I see a movie that checks those boxes, I get pretty excited. I'm also a fan of South Korean cinema including all genres from intimate love stories to zombie outbreaks so when I saw this movie, a South Korean science fiction film, I knew it was going to be right up my alley.

At first glance, the film looks a bit over the top and cheesy but it's all played in good context not too dissimilar from modern movies like The Fifth Element or Guardian of the Galaxy although probably more akin to 80's sci-fi films like Battle Beyond the Stars or Flash Gordon. While not exactly like any of those movies, it does sit in the same lane of being action packed, fast paced tales that keep you on the edge of your seat while not paying too much attention to logic or physics as we commonly understand them. The premise of this movie is pretty simple. A group of rag tag space pirates stumbles upon an android girl who is apparently capable of mass destruction and everyone else is out to find her for their own various reasons.

The cast is a really fun bunch of actors who seemed to really enjoy immersing themselves into this outlandish spectacle. Of note are Song Joong-Ki as the lead character Tae-ho and Kim Tae-ri who is this movie's version of a Han Solo type character. You may have seen Ms. Kim in Park Chan-wook's The Handmaiden which is commonly referred to as one of the best South Korean films of the past decade. Yoo Hae-Jin, who has a role in A Taxi Driver alongside Song Kang-ho, is really fun in a robot voice role that kind of reminded me of a more high strung version of Alan Tudyk's K-2SO robot from Rogue One: A Star wars Story.

What really stands out about this movie for me is the special effects work which I would put up against any of the biggest modern day blockbusters and the filmmakers take full advantage with a non stop stream of  high powered action sequences and space battles. The visual style is very bold and colorful which emphasizes the fact that, as I mentioned, this is a fun story that you don't need to take too seriously. Is it a little silly and over the top? Sure but that's kind of the point. It's fun and I really wish there had been an opportunity to see the movie on a real theater screen. That being said, I'll take what I can get and I'm thankful that Netflix chose to make it available for a wide audience.

The Verdict:
Space Sweepers is exactly the type of fun science fiction blockbuster type movie that I was hoping it would be. This is a movie that knows exactly what it is trying to accomplish and delivers from beginning to end. If you like to have fun while watching movies then I would highly recommend you give it a shot.

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