Film Review: Seobok: Project Clone (2021) by Lee Yong-joo

Regardless of affected by a hefty delay courtesy of the pandemic, “Seobok” managed to ship on its widespread anticipation with a box-office-topping opening weekend domestically. At its core a sci-fi thriller which encapsulates all the things one would anticipate from a blockbuster hit, Lee Yong-joo’s newest movie is an intriguing interpretation of the story of Xu Fu, and one which can preserve its keen viewers engrossed from the very begin.

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Min Ki-hun (Gong Yoo) is a forged apart intelligence agent. Affected by a mind tumour, he’s deadwood to the federal government higher-ups, and is aware of himself that the persistent extreme complications which now plague his days are only a merciless appetiser to his impending dying. However, Min finds himself hesitantly introduced again into the thick of issues by the shady Chief Ahn (Jo Woo-jin) to maintain the world’s first human clone, Seobok (Park Bo-gum), a take a look at specimen whose DNA holds the facility to save lots of not solely the previous operative, however mankind itself.

Nevertheless, taking care of Seobok proves to be no easy activity. Focused by teams starting from hitmen, to authorities officers, who all need to take the clone to quench their egocentric needs, the 2 protagonists are pressured on the run. To make issues much more complicated, Seobok begins to harbour lethal telekinetic powers within the midst of a battle together with his overwhelmingly quick growing cells (to outlive, he should be injected each 24 hours), all while the experimental human develops a profound curiosity within the wider that means of life itself, and seeks to search out the place his place on this planet falls.

If that each one sounds convoluted, that’s as a result of it’s, however there’s something about Lee Yong-joo’s breezy directorial type and easy-to-follow script which makes “Seobok” constantly endearing. Regardless of the ever-increasing plot factors and cookie-cutter glances at company corruptness, nothing feels overboard, and the pseudo-philosophical coating unfold throughout the overarching story helps make for a extra compelling sci-fi providing than what’s normally produced. Largely constructed round a robust characterisation of the 2 leads, there’s a easy attraction in rooting for the proverbial “good guys” all through the dainty 90-minute runtime, and a seamless anticipation in watching the protagonists attempt to survive while balancing ethical dilemmas. Add this to some genuinely compelling motion sequences, spectacular CGI, and a climax which is aware of when to cease, and you’ve got a film which has comparatively little fault to search out, no less than compared to different latest box-office centred releases.

That’s not to say “Seobok” is for everybody, although. Some will undoubtedly discover its placid type of manufacturing at odds with what a sci-fi flick ought to be, and begrudge its scarcely positioned moments of fleeting, albeit unabating, motion. These wishing for a wall-to-wall, frantic piece of cinema will seldom discover a lot to sink their enamel into right here, however might conceivably discover a stage of intrigue in Lee’s formidable makes an attempt to dig deeper into morality, even when the idea itself is nothing novel.

With that being mentioned, it’s little question that the appearing stands out as essentially the most spectacular facet of the pacey thriller, with each Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum providing stellar performances of their respective roles. The previous, who performs the emotionally brittle however sympathetic former agent Ki-hun, shines within the subtlety of his depiction, grabbing consideration together with his well-timed facial expressions and skilled dependability. Park, nonetheless, excels in uncompromising maximalism. Close to the start, the boyish attraction of the heartthrob actor works in excellent tandem with the novice nature of the clone, with the protagonist usually trying like a misplaced pet as he aimlessly stares at store house owners, or like an harmless youngster as he discovers the thrill of immediate ramen. As time goes on, although, Park switches gears in direction of a gratifyingly charismatic displaying, forcing viewers to take discover as he carries the climax in direction of its spectacle-driven conclusion. It is a wonderful, multifaceted demonstration of his growing prowess, and undeniably a profession spotlight for the 27-year-old who continues to develop his inventory within the trade.

Technical credit should be afforded to Lee Mo-gae, whose elegant cinematography offers the movie an attractive worldscape, and each time crucial, a menacing darkness. The wide-shots of the clear-skied, radiant seashores are notably praiseworthy, however usually Lee ensures that this high-octane launch constantly delivers on a visible stage.

In conclusion, “Seobok” is prone to be a satisfying movie for many who need extra substance to their blockbusters, or want to take pleasure in a brisk, neatly packaged sci-fi thriller. It could be removed from a masterpiece, however for followers of mainstream cinema, this comes dually really helpful.

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