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Story: Byung-Gu believes that Aliens live among human beings and that these extra-terrestrial life forms are the main reason behind society?s many problems as well as the misfortune in his personal life. Being the only one aware of the problem that humanity is facing, the situation puts the fate of all human lives in his hand. The only way to stop the aliens is to speak with the Alien Prince of Andromeda before the next lunar eclipse. However, finding the Aliens is quite a task since they look just like human beings. The most logical suspect at the moment is Kang Man-Shik, the president and CEO of a big chemical company. With the help of his beloved girlfriend, Byung-Gu they will kidnap the business man and try to make him confess that he is, in fact, an alien and then will try to convince him to let him contact the Prince. Meanwhile, a police inspector is on the case of Mr. Kang?s kidnapping and is becoming closer and closer to finding out what really happened to Kang. Will Byung-Gu have time to save humanity before the cops get to him?
Review: Mixing genres sometimes means failure in the concept of a movie. However, in rare instances a few directors have managed to surprise everyone and get away with an instant classic. Korean director Jang Jun-Hwan made an incredible piece of work with Save the Green Planet. Not only does it work as a multi-genre movie but he also manages to make us think about it and leaves in our minds an incredible mixture of feelings.
Korean filmmakers usually come up with brilliant ideas for movies. Save the Green Planet is again another demonstration of that aspect of their new cinema. Very imaginative, full of emotions and extremely well shot, this movie will leave its mark during 2003 for sure.
As strange as it sounds, the story works very well from the beginning to the end. Starting as a black comedy, the movie switches between genres such as a Serial Killer film, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller and so on. There?s not that much that can be said about the story without revealing any spoilers except that it is a fun story to discover. The movie starts with a few big bangs, and after that it?s much more about dialogue with a slower pace. But when the second half really kicks in, that is the part during which you really won?t want to leave your seat. Plenty of surprising turns and twists, mysteries revealed, lies told and a fantastic ending.
The story is great and since it only revolves around a few characters, it?s good that the actors are able to support their respective roles so well. Shin Ha-Gyun as the main character is again excellent. His role in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance didn?t pass unnoticed and it?s great to finally see the actor having the main role in a movie. The insane character he plays in STGP is in fact not much different from Mr. Vengeance, except that his new character is much more of a dreamer and is also more determined than ever.
Baek Yun-Sik plays the poor businessman very well too. He?s also the character that gives us the most diverse emotions toward Byung-Gu. From hate to compassion then back to hate again, he is really an interesting and strange two-faced character to discover.
With some senseless and cold moments this movie is not for the sensitive one, that?s for sure, as the movie is surprisingly violent. That old proverb; don?t judge a book by its cover can be used properly here. Judging by the look of the poster, the movie just appears to be another comedy from Korea, but that?s really not the case. After Byung-Gu finally captures the suspicious alien, he will need to prove that this person is really an alien. To achieve his goal he will need to perform numerous gruesome methods of torture. Don?t expect a Korean version of Ichi the Killer here. The movie may be violent but not to that extreme. In fact, it?s much more the surprise of seeing how cold and violent the movie is and also how these scenes are shot that the movie really gets it?s shock factor.
It is really too bad that Save the Green Planet didn?t do well in Korean theatres, but it is obvious that we will hear about it for a long time from now on as it?s popularity has already seeped into the Asian movie fan base pretty fast and the word is spreading. Don?t wait too long. If you like black comedies or very original movies with different ways to be interpreted, be sure to catch that Alien, as I?m sure it came from outer space.
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