8.2 C
New York
Friday, December 4, 2020
Advertisement

Okja (TheaterByte Movie Review)

Netflix Original Film Okja (2017) Key ArtLucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) takes over the agro-giant Mirando Corporation from twin sister Nancy (also Swinton) and announces a major change in their business model.  An unusually large pig has been discovered, presumably a spontaneous mutation, and its offspring have been distributed worldwide to Mirando farmers  to develop the biggest pig on the planet. Wacky veterinarian Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal), the has-been Animal Magic television host and now just another Mirando shill, will judge the Super Pig Fest finals to be held in a mere 10 years!

A decade passes quite quickly in filmdom and, arriving in South Korea, we see a truly massive pig (think hippopotamus big), Okja, cared for by young Mija (Ahn Seo-Hyun) who lives humbly in the mountains with her grandfather Hee-bong (Byun Hee-bong). Mundo Park (Yoon Je-Moon) brings them into contact with the Animal Magic film crew and a wheezing Dr. Wilcox who is blown away by Okja’s sheer size. Hee-bong bribes Mija with a gold ceremonial pig to make her forget that her beloved Okja has been sent to the Mirando headquarters in America to receive the Super Pig award.

The resourceful little Mija robs her piggy bank and heads for the Seoul Mirando offices just in time to see Okja loaded onto a transport truck. Not to be deterred, the little girl miraculously catches up with the truck that is then hijacked by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF, get it?): Jay (Paul Dano), K (Steven Yeun), Blond (Daniel Henshall), Red (Lily Collins), and Silver (Devon Bostick). Okja and Mija temporarily escape the truck and the huge pig wreaks havoc on the road and subway station.  ALF remains in hot pursuit and coaxes Okja back into their truck. Jay reveals the Mirando corporate secrets to Mija about how Okja was really created and the company’s ultimate plans for the big pig. To expose this company’s evil doings, the ALF will facilitate Okja’s transport to New York and gather video evidence from inside the company laboratory from the recording device hidden in her ear. If everything goes according to plan, Okja will be returned to South Korea and her human family.

Back in New York, Lucy, aided by her little office troll, Jennifer (Shirley Henderson), has a brilliant idea: bring Mija to corporate headquarters, reunite her with Okja, and become the new face of Mirando in a massive public gathering and parade. If this plan were to go smoothly (which, of course, it does not), there would have been no need to interject Lucy’s hard-hearted twin sister Nancy into the goings-on or much of the other stage business that burdens the film’s second act.

Human-animal love stories are the stuff of which classic Disney films were once made but Okja’s TV-MA rating is there for reasons that include an incredibly brutal slaughterhouse scene and language issuing from the twin sisters’ mouths that would make a sailor blush. In essence, Okja is really three films that never quite coalesce. It careens from heartwarming drama to off-kilter dark comedy to yet another ham-fisted message about the environmental evils of genetically modified organisms. In spite of the thankless roles assigned to Swinton as Cruella de Vil cartoon cutout sisters and to Gyllenhaal as a bizarre Johnny Depp-like lamebrain, the only reason to even consider this mess of a movie is the absolutely amazing performance delivered by 13-year-old Korean actor Ahn Seo-Hyun. Okja owes its great visuals to ARRIRAW (3.4K, 6.5K) source formats mastered in 4K but, beyond that,  like its initial self-produced offering War Machine, it is clear that this network still has much to learn about the art of feature-length filmmaking. Okja is now available for viewing on Netflix and available in both Ultra HD 4K and HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats.

[youtube httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjCebKn4iic&w=640&h=360]

3 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (0 votes)
Kate Street Picture Company, Lewis Pictures, Plan B Entertainment, NetflixStudios & Distributors
TV-MA (Language, Violence)Rating Certificate
South Korea | USACountry
English | KoreanLanguage
136 Mins.Run Time
2.35:1Aspect Ratio
Bong Joon-HoDirector
Bong Joon-HoWriter
28 Jun. 2017Release Date
The Film
Summary
This feature-length film from Bong Joon-ho and Netflix features an amazing young Korean actor, some good CGI, and very little else.
What people say... Login to rate
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar User Avatar
Verified
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

This review has no replies yet.

Avatar
Show more
Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}

Advertisement

Related Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

2 COMMENTS

    • FreddieK, I do not read someone else’s reviews because it is important that reviewers keep open minds when seeing a film for the first time. I am not sure that everyone loves this film as it got booed at the Cannes’ Film Festival for what that is worth. Objectively, this film was well-intentioned but as an overall picture simply missed the mark on the numerous occasions that were presented to it.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
723FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

HBO Original: The Undoing (TV Series Review)

David E. Kelley gives us an open-and-shut murder case that will be unlikely to fool most of its viewers with The Undoing.

FX Original Black Narcissus (TV Series Review)

A buttoned-up remake of the classic 'Black Narcissus' in the form of a 3-episode series that portrays the physical and emotional struggle of English nuns to establish a school in a remote palace in the Himalayas.

Perry Mason: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray Review)

A complex neo-noir origin story for the famous criminal defense attorney gets a gorgeous Blu-ray release from Warner Bros.

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...
%d bloggers like this: