← Back to Reviews

Save the Green Planet


Save the green planet! - Joon-Hwan Jang (2003)

It's well known that of all the Asian cinematographies, Koreans cater to Hollywood tastes the most. They churn out an unbelievable amount of films, mostly popcorn garbage, but now and again, there is a proper gem that makes the festival rounds and dazzles everyone. This film is definitely not one of them, although it has built up a bit of a cult following. I didn't like it and considering the amount of time I invested in this piece of garbage (2 freakin' hours), I'm a little pissed so I'm gonna rant a bit.

The premise is promising enough; Lee Byeong-gu thinks the president of a large corporation is an alien from the planet Andromeda. He also believes the aliens are planning an invasion during the lunar eclipse and the aforementioned unlucky president is the only one who can contact these alien forces and I suppose convince them to stop the invasion (it all got a bit murky after the ensuing nonsense). So he and his "quirky" (retarded) girlfriend kidnap the president and then torture him for the next hour and a half. Groovy aye. Not so much. What you get is a classic Misery rip off; imprisonment, torture, foiled attempt of escape, more torture, outsider get close but fails to see the cry for help, gets killed etc...it's all very predictable and overdrawn without so much as a hint of suspense. I was about to through in the towel when after what seemed a successful escape, the captive killed the captor, only to resuscitate him while stomping him in a fit of rage.

The predictability of this wannabe thriller kinda makes you not care about the plot development (yes, there is apparently more to it than mere sadism). Near the end we start to find out what has made Byeong-gu a crazed psychopath (and mass murderer, I forgot to mention, he apparently killed quite a few other people whilst "searching for aliens"). You guessed it, he had a rough life. So he snapped, and started killing everyone that pissed him off at one point. How profound (not to mention original).

So, we start off by not really being sure as to whether Byeong-gu is insane or there actually is some validity to his claims, to completely ignoring this point in the torture and attempts of escape that take up most of the film, to being convinced he's a complete nutter to the last twist which I'm sure you could guess but I'm gonna say it anyway, yes, the president really is an alien. Shocker. Do I care? Not much no.

To return to the opening bit, this turned to out be an Americanized piece of popcorn garbage. I suppose the MTV style editing and computer effects should have tipped me off that this isn't going to be anything spectacular, but that cult status and a few scenes from the beginning had me hoping against hope that something would salvage it in the end. Well, I was wrong, and so is everyone who likes this film (let alone calls it a masterpiece, I'm looking at you, twitchfilm.net). "Fearless, daring, original" my ars.