Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sector 7

Watched Korea's very first 3-D film, Sector 7 (7광구, or Chil Gwanggu) the other day and, despite negative reviews, I thought it was pretty fun, especially towards the end. This film came out back when I was in Korea in 2011. I was intrigued by the trailers, which I didn't understand, of course -- the image of Ahn Sung-gee fighting a sea monster with a flamethrower resonated with me. For some reason my interest continued despite bad reviews from both friends and professional reviewers. I also figured that it was somewhat monumental as Korea's first entry into the 3-D film scene. So, the consensus? Let's just say I can understand where the bad reviews come from. 

The pacing is a bit erratic, the characters are stock, the CG effects look like CG effects, and if the plot was a cheese it would be Swiss. Still, if you're a fan of the monster movie genre there is some meat here for you. The film is relatively short for a Korean film (they usually clock in at around two hours) and the first half is pretty darn slow, dealing mainly with light character development. The story revolves around an oil-drilling crew working on an offshore oil rig that has a dark secret. Scientists on the rig have found some weird aquatic life form that is in itself a power source, similar to oil. The scientists capture one and get it into their heads that they will "make their monster grow," because bigger life form equals bigger power source, right!? Well, long story short, it escapes and starts killing folks on the rig and -- *SPOILERS* -- almost everyone dies, leaving the main character to face off against the monster with a number of weapons and weaponized objects. The ending battle is actually quite epic and really redeems the movie in my opinion. The bottom line is, if you have one hour and forty minutes to kill or need a movie for your popcorn and don't mind if it's in Korean, you could do a lot worse than Sector 7. Just remember to check your brain at the door. It's nowhere near as good as The Host but good for a bit of fun, and the ending battle really is pretty neat -- I was genuinely invested.                       

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