Save The Green Planet!

((summary taken from azntv))
지구를지켜라! /Jigureul Jikyeora!

Byung-Gu is an ordinary young man living in Korea. He believes that all of the earth's social ills are the evil doings of aliens who are intent on destroying the world. That's why he knows that unless he can meet the prince from Andromeda before the total lunar eclipse, planet earth will be in grave danger.
In order to meet the prince, he must find an extraterrestrial living on earth.

So Byung-Gu kidnaps the most logical suspect, KANG Man-Shik, the president and CEO of Yoojae Chemical Company. Thus starts the battle between Byung-Gu, who's trying to uncover a secret alien plot to destroy the earth and CEO Kang Man-Shik, who thinks Byung-Gu's nuts and is trying desperately to escape. Will Byung-Gu save the green planet? Or will the aliens or the detectives hot on his trail, triumph first?

This was the directorial debut of Jang Jun-Hwan, who also wrote the film. It was nominated for eight awards and won seven of them (wikipedia).

Shin Ha-Kyun, Baek Yun-shik, Hwang Jeong-min, Lee Jae-yong
Directed by: Jang Jun-Hwan

My Rating:

Oh, I liked this movie.

I must admit... I was pulled in by the simplicity of its poster. I mean, just look at it... doesn't it just scream "feel-good comedy" or "fun family film?". Well, if you overlook the poison that is, haha. It's a great contrast to the film's summary, and even more so to the actual film which is anything but cute and innocent. But it is funny--sometimes maniacally so--and that's why it works.

The main character is an unlikely hero. Not only because he shows signs of being mentally unstable, but because you find yourself cheering for him even when you suspect he might really be crazy. Somehow, he comes off as extremely likable. Even when he’s doing something inhumane or violent, you don’t want him to get caught—you want his crazy alien-theories to be true, and for all those deaths to have some sort of purpose.

And trying to figure out if he’s crazy or sane is what keeps this film moving. Even when you think you’ve got it figured out, the rug is pulled out from under you again and again. Right up until the end, I wasn’t sure if his alien-theories would prove true (because really, what other twist could there be?) or if something else was going on behind the scenes that we just didn’t know about. I must have changed my mind three or four times throughout the course of the movie… and still manages to be surprised at the end.

It was so much fun! I felt like I was on a roller coaster. ^_^

The acting was brilliant (of course, the fact that the characters were all unique, didn’t hurt). The main character was amazing… you have to be pretty talented to make the audience so torn: and it’s not often that I willingly root for the “villain”. And even the side-characters had interesting storylines, and were wonderfully acted. There wasn’t one character here that I didn’t like. They were all interesting and well-rounded, rather than your typically flat, one-dimensional side-characters.

And the overall tone was very interesting. Even with its dark and creepy setting… you’re never really afraid. There’s a sense of the ridiculous to every scene, which kept it from becoming standard “horror” fare. And even when I was afraid… it was fear for the main character, not his prisoner. It was a nice change, since we’re rarely ever shown the story from the killer’s point of view, and rarely ever find ourselves torn over who we should be rooting for. The director, Jang Joon-Hwan, is awesome, and I plan to watch more of his work in the future.

Another thing this movie had going for it was the successful melding of different genres. It incorporates everything: horror, romance, comedy, sci-fi, thriller, drama, and even some gore and revenge. And STILL manages to end with a pretty powerful message on humanity and the poor working conditions of Koreans. Underneath, it’s got a lot more going for it than you’d originally think.

Overall, it was a creative, original, and entertaining film, which managed to keep me guessing from beginning to end. I loved it, but I can’t say that everyone will feel the same. Either way, it’s still a great way to waste a couple of hours, so if you have some extra time why not give it a try? You might just find yourself walking away pleasantly surprised…

The only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars, was the fact that for me, this isn't the type of movie I'd want to watch again and again. Many people may disagree, but from a personal standpoint the majority of the suspense came from finding out how it would end... and once you know, there isn't much reason to watch it again or to analyze it further. I know a lot of people debate over the ending, but for me it was pretty self-explanatory, especially if you watch the director's commentary on the DVD.

My Rating:


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