Jung_E Review – an adrenaline fueled dystopian tale of mothers and daughters

January 21, 2023 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
M.N. Miller 0
Film Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service
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Summary

Yeon Sang-ho’s Jung_E sometimes struggles to merge its dystopian themes with a melodramatic storyline of mothers and daughters. However, the action scenes result in a hyper-fueled science fiction film with quick shots of pure adrenaline.

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3

Summary

Yeon Sang-ho’s Jung_E sometimes struggles to merge its dystopian themes with a melodramatic storyline of mothers and daughters. However, the action scenes result in a hyper-fueled science fiction film with quick shots of pure adrenaline.


We review the Netflix film Jung_E, which does not contain spoilers.

Netflix’s Jung_E owes much of its story to a movie like Blade Runner by tapping into the classic’s mixture of themes like morality, identity, and freedom. Where this dystopian film falters is mixing those classic tropes with a melodramatic tale of mothers and daughters. However, when the film works, this Korean science-fiction thriller’s penchant for hyper-fueled action scenes plays out like a quick shot of pure adrenalin. Along with a wicked sense of humor, Jung_E a movie you can easily get lost in.

Jung_E Review and Plot Summary

The film takes place well into the future, the year 2194, and Jung_E gets off to a blazing start. A fierce warrior, Jung_E (Kim Hyun-joo), the former leader of Allied Forces, takes on a robot race hellbent on destroying a human existence. But hell, can you blame the pissed-off version of Wall-E? That is because Earth is now closing in on the 22nd century when humans have to live in shelters. After all, the world has become uninhabitable because of record-setting climate changes.

Jung_E is a renowned mercenary. However, like most heroes, her legend has grown because she lost her life in battle. To continue her good work, after her death, the government signs a deal with her family to clone the warrior’s brain. Why? As a way to win the war. With the world now forced to live sheltered from the searing sun and sudden weather changes, an internal battle wages as scientists work tirelessly to turn her into Jung_E. This would be a scalable robot that can be multiplied. One of them working on the clone is Yoon (Kang Soo-yeon), who was only a small child when her mother was killed.

Jung_E was written and directed by legendary Korean filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho. The filmmaker, whose remarkably blunt horror film Train to Busan was an exhilarating thrill ride, has made him a household name. Where that film reveled in all its zombie goriness, his latest lives in the moments of scripts themes of moral dilemmas. For instance, the way it replays its situations to see exactly how much pain the former Captain can take. An actual horror film as she Lives, Dies, Repeats herself over and over. Why? It’s simple, really. So the team can perfect the ultimate weapon. This type of theme, the proper lack of respect for human life, has become commonplace and leads to dehumanization.

The film certainly has its flaws. He was trying to place cartoonish supporting characters into a script that would not fit. Ryu Kyung-soo plays Sang-hoon, a cringe-worthy over the top villain. Even though the film explains the behavior in a way that makes sense — the character evidently is learning on his own how to be human — it’s still distracting and borders on unpleasant.

Sang-ho’s film excels in action scenes, and it’s a wicked dark sense of humor about capitalism and consumerism, where the thought of the government turning outdated and now useless weapons into money-making machines or marketing a legend into POP Dolls for sale seems ludicrous, but also possible.

Is Jung_E good?

Jung_E’s quick shots of adrenaline-fueled madness make the film’s relatively short running time fly by. Along with quality storytelling themes, you’ll notice that the script represents a society that has hit such a bottom of humanity. Whether it’s clones or ones with flesh and bones, everyone is struggling to learn how to be human. All set in a world that is anything but. While the movie struggles in some areas, we can accept it is far from perfect. We can even accept that these movies have certainly been done with greater skill and with more ambition. Still, it’s entertaining enough to be a quality distraction for anyone looking to unwind.

And sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

What did you think of the Netflix South Korean film Jung_E? Comment below.

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