Originally, this one was not in my list. It’s an action film with a science fiction background and I wasn’t sure what I was getting. As it turns it out, it was a bit of a surprise to find it insightful and with lot more brains that I expected. This is definitely action-oriented and full of strong visuals, but it also manages to pack some humanity and decent performances in it. There’s an almost unavoidable comparison to be made to a certain classic anime film, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself.
Seobok (2021) is directed by Lee Yong-hu who wrote the screenplay with Yeom Gyu-hun, Lee Jae-min and Jeo Min-suk. A former member of a secret organization, Min Ki-heon (Gong Yoo) is called back to active duty to protect a coveted specimen created in a lab: the first human clone, Seobok (Park Bo-gum). With several interest and third parties hunting them down, some to capture Seobok and some to take him out, the unlikely pair will have to remain one step ahead just to stay alive.
There are several levels in which this movie is inspired by so many science fiction that has preceded it. The idea itself may not be original but it’s in the execution where it shines. It has a strong core with the dynamic between Ki-heon, the jaded veteran and Seobok, for whom everything is a novelty. It has a bit of a buddy cop at the start while slowly revealing what Seobok is capable of. The production and the special effects are top notch, and although the more effects we see the more CGI-heavy it gets it does start small rather that overwhelm us from the start. There’s also a few quiet moments in which it’s easier to appreciate how the movie is building up to a crescendo of a finale.
Highly recommended for lovers of science-fiction and action films combined. It doesn’t necessarily bring radical new ideas to the table, but it is very well executed with decent performances by its leading cast. There’s definitely some anime influences and the usual human lessons you can expect feel more natural than forced. It does escalate to a huge finale at the end, but the CGI-fest is mostly kept small to begin with and only brings the noise right at the end. Worth a watch.
That will do for now.