Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2021
Yeom Gyu-hun, Lee Jae-min, Jeo Min-suk, Lee Yong-ju
Gong Yoo, Park Bo-gum, Jo Woo-jin, Park Byung-eun, Jang Young-nam
Well Go USA
Min Ki-hun (Gong Yoo, TRAIN TO BUSAN) is a former secret service agent struggling with a brain tumor. Chief Ahn (Jo Woo-jin, COLLECTORS) asks him to return to duty for a mission of the utmost importance: protecting Seobok (Park Bo-gum, COIN LOCKER GIRL), the first human clone. The people at the company that created Seobok tell him that the clone is immortal, with stem cells that could rid him of his cancer. However, side effects of the experiment have given this specimen fabulous powers, such as moving objects by thought. Naturally, a possible remedy for death itself hasn’t gone unnoticed by foreign mercenaries and other malevolent groups. Following an ambush during a transfer, Seobok finds himself in the company of Ki-hun for the first time, who proves to be extremely protective, as his survival depends on that of his protégé. However, the young prodigy struggles to adapt, and his powers become increasingly uncontrollable – and frightening.
Is it ethical to create a human clone and use it as a laboratory animal to fight death? Is it noble to risk everything to preserve the life of a “specimen”, to save one's own? These are the moral issues put forward by SEOBOK. Director and screenwriter Lee Yong-ju (POSSESSED, ARCHITECTURE 101) once again demonstrates his preference for quality over quantity. His direction is impeccable as he manages to create dazzling images amid common and sometimes creepy locations. SEOBOK is an eminently cerebral, often poetic sci-fi thriller, but the action abounds and the X-Men-like powers of its protagonist are eye-popping. Few mainstream films integrate ethical reflection with breathtaking, high-octane entertainment to this incredible extent. Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
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