February 21, 2021
Though South-Korea has been a popular cinema outlet for the past 20 years, they've produced surprisingly few sci-fi films. There have been a handful, but none that I can remember that went to space. Space Sweepers (what's in a name) sets out to fill that gaping hole and does a pretty solid job.
With a couple of nods to Star Wars and The Fifth Element, and more than a tip of hat to Cowboy Bebop and Battle Angel Alita, Sung-hee Jo sculpts a world that is well-equipped to host this sprawling, big budget space adventure. The plot about a crew of skilled garbage men saving the world may not be the most original, but that's not much of a hurdle for a film that relies on heavy action and impressive set pieces to win people over.
The film does suffer from the usual South-Korean blockbuster hiccups though. Space Sweeper's a bit too long, there are too many genres crammed into a single film and it does get a little too sentimental at times. But the entertainment value is high, the sci-fi designs are awesome and the action is thrilling. Good fun.