TL;DR – An odd film that I loved from start to finish
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Space Sweepers Review –
I have seen a lot of excellent Science Fiction in the last little while. However, I have been looking forward to something different, something odd, something that does not fit the mould. Well, today we get just such a film out of Korea that blends the farcical with the serious all while screaming around Earth’s orbit.
So to set the scene, in 2092 the biosphere started to break down on Earth, soon deserts spanned the globe as the plants died off. But all was not lost, led by UTS and its company director James Sullivan (Richard Armitage) people were able to escape into space. Well, the rich anyway got to flee to orbital biospheres in orbit while 95% of people are left on Earth or work on ships clearing up space debris hoping to earn enough money to buy UTS citizenship and escape. One such crew is of the ship Victory, including Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), pilot Tae-ho (Song Joong-ki), engineer Tiger Park (Jin Seon-kyu), and android Bubs (Yoo Hae-jin). All is going, well not well, when they open up a ship they salvaged and found Dorothy/Kot-nim (Park Ye-Rin) an android girl that everyone in the system is after.
The first thing I want to talk about is how outstanding the production values of this film is. You first see this when they capture the ship after stealing it off other salvagers. Each of the ships feels real, and we see them blast across the orbit coming into almost close contact with solar panels and other orbital buildings at incredibly close detail. This extends into the ships’ interiors, which are all detailed and more importantly feel lived in, which people often forget to do.
One thing you do need to prepare yourself for is the tone that they are going with. This is a more comedic-slap stick tone that you see in many Korean films like this. It can take a bit to get used to the serious subject matter and the more comedic tone, especially when the tone takes a dive to the serious instantly. For me personally, I quite liked the juxtaposition, and it was clear that the whole cast was giving their all, which made it a blast to watch especially as the team warmed up and became more protective then scared of Dorothy. Which is all supported by a musical soundtrack that does not hold back for a moment.
The film is also full of all these small little touches that make it fascinating to watch. For example, everyone wears translators in their ears so everyone just speaks their own language, which leads to conversations when you can have four or five languages going all at once without missing a beat. Next are the design and implementation of Bubs the android. He is both profoundly human yet also very much a machine which makes for an interesting character that they visualise in the animation. With the action, it is always well designed, especially in space. Here we get many different action sequences including the best version of something I last saw in Thor Ragnarok, and I think they did it better here.
In the end, do we recommend Space Sweepers? Yes, yes we do. Was it a perfect film, no, there were some issues around pacing and some of the acting in the supporting cast. However, I was engaged from start to finish on this wild ride. If you like Space Sweepers, I would also recommend to you Extreme Job.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Space Sweepers
Directed by – Jo Sung-hee
Written by – Yoon Seung-min, Yoo-kang Seo-ae & Jo Sung-hee
Music by – Kim Tae-seong
Cinematography by – Byun Bong-sun
Edited by – Nam Na-young & Ha Mi-ra
Production/Distribution Companies – Bidangil Pictures, Dexter Studios & Netflix
Starring – Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jin, Richard Armitage & Park Ye-Rin
Rating – Australia: M