Leave Earth’s orbit for an action-packed adventure, featuring the deep space politics of the future and the daily struggles of the little people taking out the trash. This Korean big budget sci-fi goes toe to toe with Marvel with ease.
Opening with the dust and grit of a dying earth there is a more serious and weighty tone than you might expect from the trailer. This sense of a difficult existence continues as the characters are introduced, there is clearly an imbalance in the scales of society as they struggle to make ends meet no matter how hard they work. Clearly talented at what they do, with their own troubles and mysterious pasts there is no rush to paint 2D characters by the writers or director. While on the job they accidentally discover a wanted biotech weapon, in the shape of a lovable child. The plot takes a significant twist and kick starts a journey of exploration into the lives and mechanics of the universe as they leave the rut of space sweeping.
There is no shortage of plaudits to hand out in this delightful movie. For an action sci-fi it is equally moving in its moments of sadness as it is in playfulness. There is an unmistakable joy for the actors in playing their roles and they give their parts 100%, if it was not for this there might be moments that come across flat or awkward in the writing. For example, switching to almost pantomime slapstick at times with little precedent does not seem like it should work but you can’t help but laugh at it, the actors and director just make it work.
The personification of the robots is another area the movie really shines. The CGI is so good you totally accept Bubs the robot as every bit of a foreground personality as the on-screen actors and there is nothing that breaks the continuity. Bubs also turns out to be up there with WALL-E for me on the robot character chart. The CGI Enemy are also as slick as they are menacing and reminded me of District 9 and Minority Report. Richard Armitage who you might recognise as Thorin from the Hobbit also stands out as an imposing antagonist. As a baddie he certainly has less development than the heroes and is much cleaner cut, however his performance gives an elegant and chilling edge to the role.
As I have already alluded to, the cinematography and design is consistently high budget and has plenty of wow factor. Even the smaller details are surprisingly impactful and show how much love and attention to detail went into the production. The clothes are a good example; the styling of the characters and the ship bring out a ton of personality and visual interest. The way the sweepers’ ship, Victory, is flown with its levelled-up control column has just as much presence as a captain taking the con in Star Trek. The interesting hypermodern fashion the characters wear may well be brand placement, (can’t confirm if this is the case or not), but it’s not just cool, but desirable. To me if you want to look like a character from a movie even as an adult, then it has tapped into a rare level of social impact very few movies achieve from visuals, like Steve McQueen’s leather coat from The Great Escape.
If you need something to give you a buzz look no further. If this is the quality of film coming out of South Korea then who needs Hollywood! You will find enough substance to engage on many levels if you want to, while it remains light enough on its feet to entertain no matter your mood. The characters are memorable and enjoyable to spend your time with.
Author: Joe, Bath store