Movie review: Space Sweepers
It's easy to see why Space Sweepers is the No 2 Netflix film in Singapore.
It would have been a commercial success if it was released in cinemas as planned, before Covid-19 derailed its big-screen plans.
It certainly ranks high on entertainment value.
Touted as the first Korean space blockbuster, the action is well-paced, the CGI-heavy interstellar dogfights are impressive, and there's leading man Song Joong-ki for eye candy.
It ticks all the right boxes, including multilingualism and multiculturalism - but that's about it.
The numerous plot holes take away any form of coherent narrative.
Themes of pollution and class would have made this a decent social commentary had writer-director Jo Sung-hee not traded them for mere spectacle.
Set in the year 2092 where Earth is too toxic to be habitable, conglomerate UTS builds a new colony in Earth's orbit for the wealthy and elite, leaving billions of the poorer population stranded on Earth.
My biggest grouse is that there isn't much originality or creativity.
Ten minutes into Space Sweepers and you know where things are heading, especially if you have seen Wall-E, Elysium, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Astro Boy, and many others.
Each space scavenger works as a rag-and-bone man on board The Victory for a specific reason.
If only Jo paid as much attention to their character development as the special effects.
Thankfully, the journey isn't totally a lost cause as the cast is strong and charismatic.
Song's anti-hero Tae-ho and Kim Tae-ri's cool Captain Jang, together with Jin Sun-kyu's former gang leader Tiger Park and Yoo Hai-jin as Robot Bubs, deliver the goods.
And who wouldn't fall for the adorable Park Ye-rin as the lethal weapon Dorothy?
FILM: Space Sweepers
STARRING: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Hai-jin, Jin Sun-kyu, Park Ye-rin, Richard Armitage
WRITER-DIRECTOR: Jo Sung-hee
THE SKINNY: In the year 2092, a ragtag crew on board The Victory, a space junk collector ship, chances upon a prized commodity in the form of a mysterious little girl named Dorothy (Park) and soon unearths explosive secrets during an attempted trade. SHOWING: Netflix