Jung_E is a classic action film, that has an important message underneath the explosions. Those who appreciate the action genre may find a lot to love about this story. At it’s core, however, this is a commentary on modern society, and the perils of war. By creating a dystopian reality, the movie is able to ask viewers to grapple with present-day issues. This is among the latest Korean action flicks to have an important message about late-stage capitalism, and where we’re all headed if we’re not careful.
Kim Hyun-joo and Kang Soo-youn are the standout performances in Jung_E. They anchor the story, and give us two characters that we can sympathize with. Even when they’re wrong, they’re still basically right. The parallel journeys that their respective characters take are enthralling to watch, from beginning to end. The contrast between human and android becomes less and less clear as the story unfolds.
In this story, viewers are introduced to a horrifying version of end-stage capitalism. This stark reality is underlined by the use of technology to control citizens, and cause immense destruction. Having one person control all of the strings of a system hellbent on destroying citizens is an all-to-real scenario. There is a palpable sense of fear. The powers that be expertly turn everyone else against one another, which is a brilliant way to illustrate how the masses are kept fighting with each other rather than against oppressive systems.
The action itself is appropriately thrilling. Rather than losing itself to the dark aestetic, Jung_E harnesses these visuals to its advantage. There’s a pervading sense of dread that can be felt in every scene. The darkness only highlights the intensity of the action itself. The camera moves with the action, so that viewers can follow along. This is a nice change from too many modern action films that feature disjointed camera work, such that one can hardly tell what is going on at any given moment.
Jung_E also features a commentary on war, and how this too is used to protect those in power. This is another way to tie in the perils of misusing advanced technology. The story asks viewers to consider the question, what good is such advanced technology, if it’s only used for the purpose of waging constant warfare? This story is a brief glimpse at the worst things such technology can be used for.
Jung_E is a fun thriller that will hopefully make you think. The time flies by, and the only regret in seeing this movie is perhaps that it ends all too soon. This is a terrifying universe, but perhaps one that everyone should pay attention to. As technological advances, these fictional realities become far too close for comfort. Paired with action, and topical storytelling, this movie has so much to appreciate.
Jung_E is available to stream on Netflix.