Movie Plot – Space Sweepers: Set in the year 2092, it follows the crew of a ship that collects space debris called The Victory. That’s also why they are called Space Sweepers. When they discover a humanoid robot named Dorothy that is known to be a weapon of mass destruction, they become involved in a risky business deal.
Director: Sung-hee Jo
Writer: Sung-hee Jo
Cast: Song Joong-Ki, Kim Tae-ri, Seon-kyu Jin, Hae-Jin Yoo, Ye-Rin Park
A futuristic world
There seems to be a small wave of optimism going around the world again lately concerning space exploration with all that they are now going to explore on Mars. Space Sweepers gives the sense of what the future might look like. Of course, this is a very unlikely future, yet there are certain elements that strike me as fun. In this world, everyone communicates in their own language, but they all have a translator in their ears by default. So they just understand each other.
Space Sweepers is set at the end of the twenty-first century, when, thanks to one such space entrepreneur, space travel has taken off. Already a good five percent of humanity is permanently in space and a terraformed Mars is about to be colonized. Yet most people still find themselves on an increasingly uninhabitable Earth, with no guarantee that they will ever leave it. But even in space, life is far from paradise for everyone. We follow four mourners who clean up junk floating through space, but receive only a meager wage for this dangerous work. Sounds pretty plausible. Given that Jeff Bezos is currently massively underpaying his Earth-based workforce, there is no guarantee that this will be better regulated off Earth in the future.
Space Sweepers is a film on Netflix that comes from South Korea. This is not at all evident, because although the budget is only one tenth of the average American-made space spectacle, the visual aspect is extremely impressive. Fortunately, the focus was not purely on the CGI realized exterior, but at least as much work went into the interior of spaceships. In particular, the interior of Victory, the central Korean cleanup ship, is a beautiful mess of loose cables, flashing lights, rusty doors and personal belongings lying around. Certain elements remind you of the wonderful Star Wars movies.
Space Sweepers is not exactly a groundbreaking film, but one that demonstrates beautifully that Hollywood no longer has the patent on grand visual science fiction spectacle. And precisely because the film can stand on its own two feet just fine, it is somewhat unfortunate that it regularly attempts to please an international audience by putting English dialogues in the mouths of its characters. Especially since, from a plot point of view, this was not necessary. After all, in the future outlined, everyone has a translation device in their ear, eliminating language barriers. Nevertheless, a striking amount of English is spoken, even by people for whom it is clearly not their mother tongue. If that had been the case, you could have just gone full-on with dialogues in which all kinds of different languages are mixed up. Honestly, mixing all languages was a fantastic addition.
Fun and confusing
Incidentally, Space Sweepers is less serious than its premise suggests. At times I did find this world a bit confusing to understand exactly how they were put together. The film does try to explain it as well, but as a result sometimes loses focus on the group. Also, I watched this movie in chunks due to a lack of time. So that may have impacted my viewing experience as well. If you are watching, try to watch the movie in one pull-through. Otherwise, it may become confusing. Also, there were moments where a lot was happening and I was just confused like the battle at the end.
The acting can’t be compared to Hollywood. Yes, there are good acting performances, but still, they feel different. Sometimes it seems like they are literally reacting the way they would in a Japanese Anime. However, it’s not too over-the-top because that just wouldn’t work. It’s more of a mixture of both Hollywood and Japan. I say Japan because I don’t know what Korean animated films are like and if they are similar?
Space Sweepers fun intermediate space fantasy with amazing good effect. It can be cheesy at times, but still a very enjoyable film.