Master genre exploder Bong Joon Ho swirls pathos, dark satire, action, and horror into an exhilarating twenty-first-century fairy tale. An all-star cast including Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, and Jake Gyllenhaal is led by An Seo Hyun as Mija, a South Korean girl growing up on an Edenic mountainside with her grandfather and best friend: Okja, a giant, empathetic "superpig" created as part of a secret GMO experiment. When Okja is abruptly torn away from her, Mija embarks on a perilous rescue mission that places her at the center of a sinister corporate conspiracy. While Bong's trademark virtuosic set pieces dazzle, Okja's beating heart is the connection between a girl and her superpig, made all the more poignant by the brilliant special effects that bring its animal star to unforgettable life.
Nice idea undermined by farcical comedy
- Okja review by LC
The opening scenes showing a girl living with her genetically-engineered superpig in South Korea are charming, but unforunately once the English-speaking cast turn up, everything turns into a zany comedy, with exagerrated performances dialed up to the max. With such broad comedy, it makes it difficult to feel any emotional investment in the film, no matter how hard it tries to tug on the heart-strings in the final act. Despite the 15 certificate (mostly for some swearing, as far as I can tell), this ultimately has the feel of a children's film - it's pleasant enough, in a generic Disney/Pixar way, but it lacks any real bite.
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