Train to Busan’s director serves up stellar sci-fi action in JUNG_ETrain to Busan’s director serves up stellar sci-fi action in JUNG_EGiphy GIFGiphy GIF

Train to Busan’s director serves up stellar sci-fi action in JUNG_E

It’s not that these seeming homages represent a stunningly curated, uniformly great set of sci-fi classics. Alita is ...
...terrific and Phantom Menace is underappreciated, while Terminator: Salvation is interestingly misbegotten at best.
But modern sci-fi movies are so quick to pull from the same sources — Blade Runner, the original Star Wars, and Alien — that any film even suggesting a different lineage is an attention-grabber.
As the scene starts to look increasingly video game-like, the movie seems to anticipate this thought, and pulls back ... show that its heroine is occupying a virtual space. The real Jung-yi is in a coma following a major battle.
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There’s a lot of lore to get through, right from the top: The movie is set at the end of the 22nd century. Earth is uninhabitable, ... humanity has moved to space, where they’ve split into two factions engaged in a seemingly infinite armed conflict.
The film, mostly set in and around lab facilities, only shows virtual glimpses of the war.
JUNG_E opens with that exciting battle scene, and closes with a bigger, better action sequence, with slightly cartoony but effective (and when needed, appropriately weighty) visual effects.
On the other hand, less patient viewers might be forgiven for assuming, around the halfway mark, that Yeon has wandered too far afield and lost his momentum.
Sometimes it’s frustrating when the story cuts away from Jung-yi; whether in human form in flashbacks or robot form in the present, ...
...she’s the movie’s most charismatic character, while her grown daughter Seo-hyun is, by design, less immediately expressive.
Kang takes her time to bring out the emotion in Seo-hyun. By the time it circles back to a more spectacular climax, the movie feels like a genuine hybrid, rather than a case of tonal whiplash.
When the movie shows a swarm of robots with generically human faces, they don’t just resemble the robot designs from the ...
...2004 I, Robot; it feels like Yeon has made a weirder, more personal companion to that compromised movie, among others.
JUNG_E has plenty of spare parts, and occasionally janky green-screen effects. But both the robots and humans it assembles move with unexpected grace.
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