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Save the Green Planet (2003)

Cast: Shin Ha-kyun, Baek Yun-shik, Hwang Jeong-min, more...
Director: Jang Jun-hwan
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Koch Entertainment
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, Black Comedy, Korea
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: English
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The genre-bending black comedy science fiction thriller Save the Green Planet! marks the feature debut of writer-director Jang Jun-hwan. Shin Ha-kyun of Joint Security Area stars as Byun-gu, an eccentric beekeeper who, with the help of his tightrope walker girlfriend, Sooni (Lee Joo-hyeon), kidnaps a powerful and successful businessman, Man-sik (Baek Yun-sik). Byun-gu believes that Man-sik is an alien from the planet Andromeda, one of many hiding among us, and plotting to destroy the earth in a few days. Amphetamine-popping Byun-gu sees himself as the planet's last hope, and sets about torturing Man-sik with relish, trying to convince him to contact the "Royal Prince," and call off Armageddon. A battle of wits and wills ensues, with Man-sik trying to convince his captors that he's human, and attempting to escape. Man-sik recognizes Byun-gu as a disgruntled former employee whose comatose mother suffers from a mysterious illness. It begins to seem that Byun-gu's true motivation may be personal, but he's still ruthlessly determined to get Man-sik to confess and cooperate, even if he has to risk killing him. Meanwhile, a disheveled detective, Chu (Lee Jae-yong), and his young acolyte, Inspector Kim (Lee Ju-hyeon) discover that the person who kidnapped Man-sik may have struck several times before, always with deadly results. The distinctly offbeat Save the Green Planet was a box office flop in South Korea, but it won some acclaim on the festival circuit. The film had its US premiere at the 2004 New York Korean Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Not a comedy, not "genre-bending" by LCasper January 12, 2006 - 10:51 PM PST
0 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Other than the groaners at the end,there was no comedy in this movie. And forget about it breaking genre barriers: 99% is like a slow version of any other kidnap/torture movie, with perhaps a tiny bit more sympathy for the kidnapper. I felt like the bad joke was on me at the end.

Total madness by brakhage October 14, 2005 - 5:37 AM PDT
4 out of 6 members found this review helpful
The movie bounces between horror, police procedural, martial arts and comedy, all in the first few minutes! And the finale is unexpectedly emotionally wrenching. The one thing I would like a bit less of is, well, torture, even though it's Sam Raimi goofy at one moment and Jonathan Demme scary the next. So many things are parodied it's ridiculous, from the aforementioned Silence of the Lambs to 2001. It's frankly a miracle that the film doesn't jump the tracks and explode, though it threatens to again and again. This thing is what they invented the term 'cult classic' for.

Save This Moviemaker! by talltale September 10, 2005 - 11:27 AM PDT
8 out of 10 members found this review helpful
Maybe the Koreans know the secret of adaptation--to modern life and modern moviemaking. They're noted for producing major mood-swings faster than a fifty-cent hooker turns tricks. With SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! Korean filmmaker Jun-hwan Jeong goes one better: the changes in this writer/director's temperament barely keep up with his genre-swings. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comedy, ultra-violence, satire, and the ever-popular (with me, at least) socio-economic-environmental-historical-political thriller--they're all here, tossed together like some salad from the world's greatest veggie chef.

Somehow--here's where those moviemaking skills cash in--the whole thing works. But not fully and fabulously, until you have experienced every last moment, including the end credits--during which I had tears in my eyes. And this, after having laughed, grimaced, gasped and sat open-mouthed for nearly two hours! Maybe this is the only way to encompass, tolerate and digest the beauty & horror of our world. My hat is off to this guy, and--were I rich--my checkbook would be open to him, too, just so he might make another film this good, this different, this amazing. Lord-a-mercy, I thinks I's found that higher power.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.88)
81 Votes
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