A while ago, we told you about the upcoming science fiction thriller JUNG_E and we had some very high expectations set for the movie because South Korean cinema has really found its standing amongst mainstream cinema in the last few years. What we didn’t know was just how brilliant JUNG_E was going to be, and it has truly surpassed all the expectations that we had for this movie. We will admit that the movie was a little different from what people had expected, and that will be discussed later in the review. JUNG_E was directed by the legendary director Yeon Sang-ho, who also wrote the screenplay for this science fiction thriller. If you don’t recognize Yeon Sang-ho by his name, you definitely will recognize him by his work, which is the very popular movie Train to Busan.
JUNG_E is also a special movie for South Koreans because it was officially the last movie of Kang Soo-yeon who passed away in May 2022. So, there is definitely some emotional attachment there, and the theme of the movie only makes it more of a tear-jerker, but more on that later. So, without wasting too much of your time, let’s dive into the review of JUNG_E, and whether you should stream it or skip it.
JUNG_E: Was it Ultimately Worth the Hype?
Now there will definitely be some mixed opinions on whether or not JUNG_E was worth the hype, because it was a little different from what people had expected. Before we talk about why we’re saying this, let’s summarize the movie in the briefest way possible, to give you a little idea of what to expect from JUNG_E. So, if you haven’t watched the movie yet or don’t want to look at the spoilers, we recommend skipping the next few lines of this section of the article.
JUNG_E is set in 2194, way into the future, at a time when Earth is inhabitable. It gives the audience a scary glimpse into a possible future that our future generations might have to face. Now, there have been colonies formed to house whatever remains, however, the people who remain haven’t necessarily gotten along over time and this has resulted in war. This part is an interesting commentary on the socio-political nature of humanity, and how even hundreds of years later, we are still just as capable of war. Moving on, JUNG_E mainly revolves around trying to end the war by recreating an AI of a heroic soldier who died in the war. Everyone is convinced that only she can end the civil war, and so with several attempts of brain cloning using memories of battle, they are trying to perfect an AI combat soldier in hopes of ending the war.
Now that we have given you a gist of JUNG_E, let’s talk about why the movie was a little different from what people had expected it to be. All the science fiction and thriller fans were expecting constant action sequences involving the AI in battle, but that wasn’t always the case. JUNG_E was more emotionally stimulating than thrilling because the team leader of the AI combat soldier program was the daughter of the deceased soldier. The recurring theme of this movie was the mother-daughter relationship that was left unfished because she never came back from the war. To make things more emotional, Yun Seo-hyun who was the daughter has been battling cancer for a while now, and the day Yun Jung-yi (JUNG-E) went into battle, was the day a young Yun Seo-hyun was going in for an important surgery. It was the last time the mother and daughter interacted, making it an extremely emotional affair.
We truly believe that because JUNG_E was more emotional than one would have expected, some of the viewers didn’t enjoy it as much. The concept of brain cloning is something that has been explored in movies before, so everyone wanted to see how JUNG_E would do it differently, but it didn’t live up to the expectations of all the viewers and critics. While we thoroughly enjoyed the movie, the action sequences felt a little repetitive because JUNG-E was put in the same simulation over and over with a few changes here and there. However, despite that, the movie was almost a cathartic experience because we saw JUNG_E occasionally woken up with no recollection of where she was, and unable to feel any parts of her body.
Despite the mixed reviews that JUNG_E has received in the last few days, we believe that it is the kind of movie that will eventually grow on you because you feel emotionally connected to the characters. Another interesting concept that was explored as a subplot of brain cloning was how even there money and status play an important role in what happens to your brain after your death. There are three different types of options presented to you or your family members in case of an untimely death. JUNG-E was a part of the third option, where you can’t afford the fancier and more well-off options, and any company has complete control over your brain after your death and they can do anything they want with it. Whether they make an AI combat soldier or even something for ungodly pleasures, you or your family wouldn’t have a say in it.
It was different themes like these that made people think a lot while watching JUNG_E, instead of just being able to enjoy the action sequences. As we said, this is the kind of movie that will eventually grow on people, and it has only been out for a few days, so we’re hoping that the reviews get better over time. The movie also had some brilliant performances from Kang Soo-yeon, Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-soo, Lee Dong-hee, and Park So-yi, who came together to make JUNG_E the incredible movie that it was. Each character was so unbelievably different from the others, and it was interesting to see that kind of versatility in the personalities because of their status. It was also almost difficult to tell what and who was real after time, and it was scary to imagine if this will be the future of humankind, then we might just be doomed.
If you have made it to the end of the article, then you know our verdict by this point. We highly recommend that you stream JUNG_E and go in with an open mind, and don’t focus too much on the action sequences. We hope you enjoy the movie just as much as we did, and let us know in the comments what you thought about it!