Space Sweepers is set in 2092, banging the drum wit environmental nonsense, at a time when Earth is classed as “still breathing, but on life support”, resulting in the population going to work in the high-up place callled The Orbit, as our planet’s air is no longer habitable.
Up above the clouds is the UTS Resigdential District, where utopian life can be achieved because everything we need is there, but to stay there full time needs you to be wealthy, and there’s none more in this UTS-governed world than the founder of UTS, James Sullivan (Richard Armitage – The Stranger), who’s 152 years old.
As the token Brit in the cast, before I watched this, I figured he was the token EVIL Brit. Wonder if I’ll be right? I usually am.
Heading the cast are the crew of the spaceship Victory – led by Captain Jang (the stunning Kim Tae-ri, above-right) – a team of ‘space sweepers’ who try and deal with space debris as we spend more time in zero gravity. One of the crew, Tae-ho (Song Joong-Ki), has been looknig for his daughter for the past three years. Before long, they think they’ve chanced upon her, but it’s actually a weapon of mass destruction that goes by the name of Dorothy (Ye-Rin Park).
Given how deadly she is, and how broke they are, they plan to sell her to the terrorist organisation Black Foxes for $2m. That’s bound to work out well, right? Erm…
Another looming disaster is that this film really does just trundle on and could be done in 90 minutes, but instead choose to ramble on for almost an hour longer, filling the time with irrelevant content like going shopping for fruit, washing Dorothy’s hair, and backstory no-one really cares about. I came for an action film, not family drama.
Armitage is in it for about ten minutes across the length of the film, – rather like Jason Isaacs in the daft – and considerably shorter – Skyfire; and Bruce Willis in the godawful The Bombing (aka Air Strike). In all cases, they must’ve each spent a whole… afternoon filming those. In Armitage’s case, his scenes often feel like they’re from an entirely separate film, such is how bad they are. In fact, given how much Space Sweepers veers off-topic, the film often feels like random segments of different films strung together.
Because it was hardly the most complex of plots, instead of watching in the original Korean language, I viewed the English dub of this, but even then, some tertiary characters still spoke in various other langauges – plus one early character now dubbed into German, while their original language WAS English, which I would only have heard if I’d elected to watch the main characters in the original Korean. Confused? I was. Either way, the majority of it was dubbed into English.
Still, Captain Jang…
Space Sweepers is on Netflix now, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 136 minutes
Release date: February 5th 2021
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Director: Sung-hee Jo
Producers: Yoon In-beom, Kim Soo-jin
Screenplay: Yoon Seung-min, Yoo-kang Seo-ae, Jo Sung-hee
Music: Kim Tae-seong
Captain Jang: Kim Tae-ri
Tae-ho: Song Joong-Ki
Tiger Park: Seon-kyu Jin
Robot: Hae-Jin Yoo
Dorothy / Kang Kot-nim: Ye-Rin Park
Bubs: Hyang-gi Kim
James Sullivan: Richard Armitage
Kang Hyun-Woo: Mu-Yeol Kim
Kim Soon-Yi: Ji-Yeol Oh
Karum: Nas Brown
Pierre: Kevin Dockry
Reporter: Daniel Joey Albright
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.