Original name: Seungriho
South Korea, 2021, Sci-Fi
136 min.
Director: Sung-hee Jo
Cast: Song Joong-Ki (Tae-ho), Kim Tae-re (Captain Jang), Seon-kyu Jin (Tiger Park)

Netflix South Korea addition to the genre.

Space Sweepers is a Netflix Korea Science Fiction production. It complies with what any fan of the genre can ask for. Spaceships, fights, and good visuals and an excellent cyberpunk setting. All this is presented in a frenzy frenetical rhythm. But when a runner wants to go faster than he is capable, he is going to stumble. And this is just what happens to Sung-Hee Jo’s movie.

Cyberpunk setting, light treatment.

Space Sweepers (2021)
Space Sweepers (2021)

It is the year 2092 and the earth is dying from a severe environmental crisis. Nature is dying. The UTS Corporation has created large orbiting centers where they have rescued the natural resources and where a chosen few live their lives in comfort. But it is only a small percentage of the population. The rest have a hard fight only to survive. The crew of the Victory is part of these outcasts. They make a dangerous living catching space junk. By chance or fate, a little girl is found in one of the recovered remains. She looks like a normal girl, but apparently, she is a robot and weapon of mass destruction sought after by various factions. These groups can offer large amounts of money to recover the kid. The life of the crew is going to change unexpectedly.

Secondary characters lead the way.

Space Sweepers (2021)

Out of all the Victory crew of misfits, no one stands out. The performances are flat. They are better as a group, where they get a couple of good times than as individuals. The funny thing is who has the best performances. One is the girl Ye-Rin Park, who plays Dorothy / Kot num. She has more presence than the other character in the film. She looks adorable and gives a touch of candor story. The other one is the robot Bubs, played by Ji-Yeol Oh. Despite the situation of being a robot with no face, the inflection of his voice and his gestures express more than any other member of the Victory. He brought some reminiscences of Alan Tudyk as K-2SO in Rogue One (Gareth Edwards 2016).

Outstanding art direction

Space Sweepers (2021)
Space Sweepers (2021)

The film has very good special effects. From the large orbiting bases floating above the atmosphere of the earth to the small ships flying around them all look great. The UTS commando war suits are also very well done. The production design is excellent, showing a decrepit and worn future, with a strong influence from what was established in Blade Runner (Ridley Scott 1982). This combination of SFX and décor makes Space Sweeper a visual delight.

Another thing well done in the film is the plurality of its characters. Characters from different cultures speaking in their native language. We not only listen to Korean or English but also Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, etc. This plurality of races coexisting in this semi-apocalyptic future gives it a touch of realism that is sometimes lacking in futuristic stories.

Frenetical to a fault

Space Sweepers (2021)
Space Sweepers (2021)

The movie has a fast and frenetic pace. But his commitment to maintaining this unbridled pace is so much that he falls into numerous continuity errors. Space chases are sometimes difficult to follow. We see the characters in predicaments fleeing from their pursuers and in the next scene, we see them already safe and sound inside their ship.

Honestly, at first, I thought I had missed something and rewind the movie to watch a scene again. I had not seen anything bad. As an act of magic, the characters were in one place one moment and suddenly they were already in another. And this was repeated several times in the film. This speaks of a bad job in the direction and lousy editing work. Also, the story has many plot holes. It seems all the focus on detail was on the art direction, trowed out of the window on everything else.

Popcorn entertainment.

Space Sweepers (2021)

Space Sweepers is a funny movie. A disconnect your brain-popcorn movie, which some science fiction lovers will enjoy. Its special effects, and more than anything its art direction are excellent. But with performances without depth, great errors in editing and numerous plot holes makes it just one more entry in the great pantheon of science fiction cinema.

Fun to watch, with excellent SFX and art direction. But has too many flaws. Editing is awful.

Written by Guillermo Garnica Bouchot

Music Lover, Comic Reader, Film Buff, Cat Person.