Take a Drink: “Andromeda”
Take a Drink: for Napoleon Dynamite-esque drawings
Take a Drink: for crazy eyes
Take a Drink: whenever Sooni does something childish
Take a Drink: for pills
Do a Shot: for fantasies
By: Henry J. Fromage (Six Pack) –
I watch a lot of Korean cinema, but there’s such an embarrassment of riches in the Korean New Wave that I don’t often bother with the crappier stuff (and I’ve learned by now that Hong Sang-soo and Kim Ki-duk just keep remaking the same dull and disgusting films respectively).
Hmm, an incest/castration melodrama… NOPE!!!
Every once in a while a batshit Korean film sneaks up on me, and Save the Green Planet is nothing if not batshit. It’s about a disturbed young man convinced that a wealthy executive is actually an alien king from Andromeda bent on destroying the human race… so he kidnaps and tortures him with the aid of his overweight tightrope-walking, sweetly retarded girlfriend. Things go downhill from there.
You can’t say that this movie doesn’t go for broke, and it throws so much insanity at the screen that some of it’s bound to be amusing (He shoots two bees. Two. Bees!). One clever moment I particularly liked proves why you should never kick your enemy when he’s down, and, especially in the context of what the existence of this film itself suggests about the human race, the end is rather fitting.
The main issue with this film is what some reviewers seem to think is laudable- it’s a complete tonal mess. Director Jang Joon-hwan makes Frankenstein look like a chump, stitching and squishing together incompatible elements to create an unholy, shambling freak of nature.
He’s getting acid poured on his feet… and this is unambiguously a comedy scene.
The result is a film that feels like Dumb and Dumber meets a serial killer how-to guide anonymously posted on Forchan. I shudder to think of what this director did to puppies when he was a kid. It’s not the brutality of the scenes- there’s worse in the majority of the PG-13 bullshit that passes for horror these days- it’s that he thinks that the torture and humiliation are so damn amusing, and he can’t understand why you don’t too.
So, late in the game when he flashes back to the many sorrows of young Werther McPsychopath in a misguided attempt at pathos, the scene falls flatter than a Chinese public school in an earthquake zone. Not satisfied, he then tries to graft on a last-second “profound message”, using a montage of at first clever Biblical and film references, then freaking Holocaust footage. After taking gleeful pleasure in the violence in his film up to this point, Jang loses any right to exploit real human misery to build a façade of meaning for it.
The style and filmmaking techniques Jang employs are as off-putting as his handle on tone. The style is a mix of manic and cutesy that recalls Michel Gondry at his absolute worst, and also employs played-out flourishes like fast-forward which, let’s be honest, never doesn’t suck.
This will give you an idea of what you’re in store for…
The cherry on top of this shitcake is the frankly laughable CGI work that wishes it could reach Sharknado levels of competence. Or maybe it doesn’t. Maybe Jang purposefully uses the cheapest CGI that DeVry diplomas can deliver because for ten minutes or so he tries to convince us that Save the Green Planet is that winking, self-aware brand of debacle. Oh wait, Holocaust footage.
Fuck this movie.