Song Joong Ki is back and ready to win your hearts…. in space. Come join The Fangirls as they discuss all the reasons why you should make the Korean film Space Sweepers your next watch.
After snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Spaceship Victory’s crew members find a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she’s the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards and decide to demand ransom in exchange. (MyDramaList)
Kdrama Jen: First, I have to send up a cheer for this big jump into the world of sci-fi. I am very excited that Korea seems to keep expanding into new genres. I thought this premise was intriguing and although there are a few little plot holes that are never fully explained, I loved the character development. There were hidden facets to each character that were slowly revealed through the plot. Once I got beyond the inevitable comparisons on my mind to other sci-fi movies, I found I was quite immersed in the movie and the time went by quickly.
Telzeytalks: I was pretty happy to see the Koreans do a space blockbuster! The story is set not too far in the future, when we are moving out into the solar system but not traveling to other stars yet. Sweeping up old space junk for recycling is a good idea for a plot, but it turns out to be not that profitable. These guys are in debt and their ship needs repairs; that’s why they want money for the android. But somebody else wants her too, and we get space races and shootouts and fights. And there is a side plot about Earth’s air being unbreathable and whether that can be reversed. It holds together pretty well except for a villain who is evil for no good reason that I could see.
Clkytta: Yes, it’s Korean, but they actually have a real diverse group of actors and I was so happy! This movie really challenged us to think about what will happen if we don’t work together. The whole “worthy” vs. “unworthy” aspect of how people are treated was really eye opening. I felt like this was very much a lesson to all of us about racism, elitism, and taking care of our environment. Of course, they didn’t just come out and say that was what it was about, but it was pretty obvious to me.
Karie the Maknae: This plot was INCREDIBLE. I’m still thinking about it days later. The story was captivating and layered and full of the right twists, and the message was strong without feeling like we were being beat over the head with it. I can’t wait to watch this again.
Drama Geek: Okay, I am a huge fan of sci-fi and space shows, and I’m happy Korea is delving into this territory. It was a fun ride, with a decent plot. I’m not sure it accomplished all of the deeper things listed above, but it did skim the surface on each thing, and managed to keep me engaged.
Kdrama Jen: There were lots of space scenes and special effects needed to pull this off. I especially liked the juxtaposition between the utopian setting of UTS and the gritty world of the space sweepers.
Telzeytalks: The sets and special effects are great. They had a lot of people working on the CGI and it shows. If you have a big screen tv or a projector to show this on a wall, you will enjoy the space battles and ships zipping around a lot more. In the beginning, they try to harpoon a derelict ship for towing, but the balance is off and they are attacked, and the derelict whangs around on the end of the tether all over the place. (Not at all like the shuttle matching orbits and docking at the space station.) They also have a robot that was acted by a real person and then motion-captured and rendered as a robot by the graphics people. Very well done.
Clkytta: It was so transfixing. I loved all the use of color in the Utopia setting and how drab and dreary everything else was. The scene with the balloons was so good.
Karie the Maknae: There were a couple of very intense scenes that were filmed SO VERY WELL — my jaw dropped and I was on the edge of my seat. The special effects were top-notch, and the contrast between Utopia and the Sweepers’ community was stark without being too extreme. Nothing ever felt underdone or out of place.
Drama Geek: Mr. Drama Geek and Child 2 watched the first half with me (sadly my head didn’t allow me to finish with them and I watched the second half alone) and they really enjoyed the space scenes and we were all impressed with the battle scenes. I was impressed with the CGI and could tell that decent amount of money was put into the making of this movie.
Kdrama Jen: This is where the movie goes from decent to engrossing. Every single character has hidden layers. None of them are perfect, but throughout the movie you can see how they grow and change. Considering it is not a multi-episode drama, I was amazed at how quickly I fell in love with every character and how there was time to see them evolve in their thinking and understand their motivations. The main cast was really incredible. I am always a Song Joong Ki fan, but I have a new appreciation for Kim Tae Ri as Captain Jang. I also adored Jin Seon Kyu as Tiger Uncle. I was just drawn in by this gang of misfits.
Telzeytalks: My favorite character was the little girl. She was so cute. She drew pictures of everyone. And then I liked the surly (at first) engineer who got a soft spot for her and didn’t really want to turn her in for the reward. She called him Uncle Tiger. All the characters had personalities; the pilot was conflicted and had a daughter and a tragic backstory. The captain was straightforwardly tough and held her own in the fights. The robot was the comic relief. It was a reprogrammed war droid. I thought all of them were dead at least three times, but they kept going. Too bad this was a movie and not a drama, so we could see them in a few more episodes.
Clkytta: I loved how every character, even all the side characters and ships, had a story. So much good writing here; I was cheering just as hard for the side characters as I was the main ones. I have to admit that I cheered really hard for Pierre and Captain Jang. My favorite character was Uncle Tiger. Who would have thought that this giant, manly monster of a man would be such a marshmallow?
Karie the Maknae: One of my favorite things is when a group that barely tolerates each other learns to work together and become a team. Sometimes it even brings me to tears! Watching Captain Jang and her crew pull together around Dorothy was so incredible — everyone had to overcome some obvious flaws to be better versions of themselves, which I adored. And once they did, what a team they became.
Drama Geek: I enjoyed the main characters and I felt the side characters were done much better than I expected when I saw people from all over the world. The robot reminded me of Rogue One, and had most of the humorous lines that made me chuckle. The villain was the weakest character (they often are) and I rolled my eyes most of the time he was on the screen.
Kdrama Jen: Overall, this was a really solid space drama that I really enjoyed watching. There were moments when I laughed and moments when I held my breath because I was feeling a little emotional. I started watching because of Song Joong Ki and because I like this drama, but in the end it was the chemistry among the characters and their unique stories that kept me intrigued. I definitely recommend this one!
Telzeytalks: This show is fun for people like me who like space stories. It’s a lot like the super hero shows in that a lot of time is spent fighting, which I got tired of. The show is rated MA but that is a tv rating. If you are wondering about letting your teenagers watch, I have a few comments. There’s not a lot of blood and no gore, no bed scenes, and no nudity. There are children in danger. There is swearing in English especially at the beginning, and even some swear words in the subtitles for Korean. Although the actor clearly said, “Chincha,” which means “Really!” or “No kidding?” There is also humor, and you will be glad to know they play Go Stop and have poop jokes, so they are still Korean.
Clkytta: I got teary-eyed, so that means it was really good. I love a good sci-fi movie and this hit all the high points for me. The little girl was so adorable and I loved the rest of the cast so much. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone. Side note: It’s a great Teleparty (Netflix party) watch with a group of friends.
Karie the Maknae: I really want to watch this again, this time with my husband and older girls. The characters are memorable, and the feeling of the story stuck with me long after I had exited out of the Teleparty with my kbesties. This is definitely a movie worth watching.
Drama Geek: It was a fun ride with a decent story, and enjoyable characters. I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as the rest of the fangirls, but I would still rate it a 7.5 out of 10. I hope to see more of these types of movies from Korea in the future.
Til our next movie adventure,
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi