Save the Green Planet

Director: Jeong Jun-hwan

2003. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 118 min.

One of the most surprising films of recent years, director Jeong Jun-hwan’s crazy yet inspired Save the Green Planet oscillates wildly from screwball comedy to psychological thriller, from sci-fi fantasy to detective drama. It opens with a bang—a pair of wackos in home-made superhero outfits kidnap a middle-aged businessman in an underground car park—and never lets up. The gleefully demented Byun-gu and his female partner believe the man they’ve abducted is a member of an extraterrestrial group bent on destroying planet Earth. With the world’s would-be saviour babbling nonsense as he sets about torturing his stoic captive, Jeong establishes a powerful sense of mania. His lurid, wildly busy spectacle starts like a creepy-crawly Silence of the Lambs-style thriller with eco-hysterical overtones and winds up somewhere beyond Plan 9 From Outer Space. Among other things, Jeong contrives the funniest death-of-the-dinosaurs theory and 2001 parody you’re ever likely to see.

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