The most recent Korean movie on Netflix, Jung E, has a dystopian plot in which people are at war. To put a stop to the ongoing conflict between the Allied Forces and the Adrian Republic, Kronoid created Jung E, an AI project of a super-soldier.
The prototype is Captain Yun Jung-Yi, a nearly unbreakable soldier who, when hurt, could even fight robots.
Yun had fallen into a coma due to a failed mission, and years later, her daughter led a team to develop an AI battle robot modeled after her.
Such was her strength that had she finished her last task, the Allied vs. Adrian civil war would have been won. It is now up to Kronoid to have the AI fulfill the mission she never performed.
Several individuals in Jung E exhibit cyborg-like traits, so the human vs. robot conflict is presented to viewers in a novel way.
Furthermore, because it is an action film, the expertly orchestrated action scenes are anything but dull, which is a quality that cinema enthusiasts enjoy in Korean movies.
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The very first revelation that Captain Yun we first meet is not human and that she is being used as a model to produce an AI that is as impenetrable and as brilliant as she is in combat is just one of several shocking plot twists that keep viewers on their toes.
The production is futuristic with a nostalgic undertone, with 21st-century interiors on sky trains and vintage stand fans hinting at the desire of humanity to win the conflict and return to the past.
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The main focus is on Captain Yun and how she was when she was alive, as well as her AI who acts and feels like humans do, even though we witness team leader Yun Seo-hyun, her daughter, trying her best to approve the Jung E project and make it a success.
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Kim Hyun-Joo does an exceptional job portraying such a complicated character despite her limited screen time; it seems the writers want us to support her.
The late Kang Soo-Yeon, who played the calm leader Yun Seo-hyun, who has some tricks up her sleeve, and Ryu Kyung-soo, who plays the enigmatic director Kim, are both multi-dimensional characters.
Along with them, Uhm Ji-won makes an annoyingly endearing appearance as Lee Se-Yeon, the production boss, who have you wondering if she’ll turn out to be the bad guy.
However, it is disappointing to see Kang Soo-final Yeon’s part go to the cautious Seo-hyun, who could have been more explored given that she is the daughter of such a strong figure.
She is, however, portrayed as a depressed and sullen figure whose sole ambition in life is to enhance her mother’s AI.
Instead, Ryu Kyung-soo is given more fantastic room to develop as the ambiguous character Kim, from being the comic relief to pulling his weight when necessary with murky motivations.
Furthermore, Jung E’s world-building bewilders individuals seeing it for the first time since too many aspects are being explained simultaneously.
Too many plot lines disrupt the flow, leaving us to ponder how thrilling they would have been if Jung E had been turned into a TV program. We would rather watch Captain Yun’s AI and root for her, which makes the other characters’ arcs dull.
We are also left waiting for a powerful climax by Jung E, but it never materializes. The Jung E project is expected to reach an explosive conclusion, but the direction it takes is everything but satisfying.
With a lot of potentials, this intriguing notion falters in the second half as you wait for the conflict, only to realize the film is almost over.