Space Sweepers premiered on 5th February 2021. Directed by Jo Sung-hee, the movie stars Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-Ri, Jin Seon-kyu, and Yoo Hae-jin. The film is regarded as the first Korean space blockbuster.
In June 2020, it was announced that the release of the film was postponed due to the COVID-19 with a plan for the film to premiere during the Chuseok holiday. In August 2020, the release was once again postponed due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in South Korea. Finally, in November 2020, it was announced that the film would be released exclusively on Netflix.
Space Junk And Dead Earth
“In space, there’s no up or down. From the universe’s viewpoint, nothing is worthless or precious. Everything is precious in its own place.”
Throughout its duration, Space Sweepers is amazeballs! As soon as you enter the movie you’ll know what watching this on the big screen would be like and at the same time regret the missed opportunity. The story here is lowkey seen-before environment vs capitalism but what sets it apart is the way it is conceptualized and executed.
Set in 2092, Earth is dying and has turned into a literal desert with no vegetation which means a shortage of food resources and oxygen. Sooner or later billions of people will die but there is one solution – a massive conglomerate called UTS that has developed off-world commerce and resource management with a system of hub satellites connected to the mother planet by space elevators, and Sullivan, who is 100+ years old is the mastermind behind UTS, who has also developed a floating residential paradise in space (Woah!).
Terraforming and colonization of Mars are next on his big plan, but good luck getting citizenship if you’re not a one-percenter i.e., people with high intellectual ability who are useful to UTS in any shape or form. Instead, many folks scrape out an existence as “sweepers,” scavenging for space debris that they can salvage for hard cash which is taken instantly from them. With a fast ship and ethically questionable tactics, the motley bunch who crew the Victory are better at this than most.
But they’re still in debt up to their eyeballs, they pay heavy taxes, and for everything else they shouldn’t. Basically in this future world, living in space is just another day at the grind and it’s worse than before! Things take a turn when these sweepers meet a girl named Dorothy who is said to be dangerous and possibly explosive! As the film continues we follow Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), Tae-Ho (Song Joong-Ki), Tiger Park (Seon-kyu Jin), and witty humanoid Bubs (Hae-Jin Yoo) as they run from and fight with Sullivan while saving people with great VFX in an on-screen blockbuster!
Space Sweepers has detailed costumes, eye-catching and fantastic production design, and world-building visuals that populate every corner of the frame leaving no place for complaints. Each and every scene is intricately designed to compliment the entire idea of the scene but also to stand out individually! The spacecraft all have uproarious character, right down to their specific avionics. And the film freely makes use of Korean with English making the film a lingua franca and it’s appealing. The film is a visual delight and the more I say it the better it gets!
The motif and the environment wherein Space Sweepers is located has great potential, but the film remains consistent with its largely simple storyline. And that is one of the plus points for the movie. The film does not try to go overboard with its concept but rather stays in its confine and uses it to its best ability. If you have seen Guardians of the Galaxy you might find some adaptative similarities but that does not make the film a copy or unoriginal, the set/costume designs, the pacing, the virtual camerawork and VFX, and the editing have been tweaked enough to be different in its own way.
Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Sun-kyu, Yoo Hai-jin, and Park Ye-rin’s performances are impressive and it does not go haywire anywhere. Kim Tae-ri as Captain Jang is laconic and cool, she sports aviators with a flask and doesn’t give a shit about anyone. On the other hand, Song Joong-Ki as Tae-ho is the emotional quotient of the team and is high-functioning and determined in his cause. Lastly, Seon-kyu Jin as Tiger Park is a former Mafia boss and is a soft-hearted badass, and Hae-Jin Yoo as Bubs is savage, smart, and witty in his humanoid avatar, and it’s fun!
Surprisingly enough I have no negatives to point out about the film as it is great in every prospect and it is no surprise that it made it to India’s top 10 trending list really quick and hasn’t been down since.
Stream It or Skip It
STREAM IT! Space Sweepers is a must-watch if you’re looking for a movie from the sci-fi genre and even if it’s not your thing the film is still worth your time and will keep you engaged throughout. There is almost everything that the sci-fi genre has seen, it has been oversaturated and overused over the years and while you will find some similar elements in Space Sweepers, it is still worth all your time as it is crazy good.
Space Sweepers is now streaming on Netflix.
Read our other reviews here.