Space Sweepers is about a dangerous crew of grifters who discover a childlike robot that’s really a weapon of mass destruction in disguise. There have been many New Wave cinema movements but all of them share the quality of celebrating filmmaking by subverting expectations. South Korean New Wave Cinema has been growing in popularity with its influences already being seen in films like John Wick and in TV series like Snowpiercer.
After deep diving into Korean cinema, I noticed several recurring themes: a commitment to grounded realism and believability, acting that ranges from subdued to operatic, and unexpected plot twists. These elements are all present in Space Sweepers and add a new sheen to the well worn genre of the space opera. The film combines the best elements of the gritty practical effects of the 80s and the CGI spectacle of the 2000s. While there are aspects that can be compared to other films in this genre, Space Sweepers delivers an aesthetic that’s truly its own.
I can see a future where we no longer use the term “foreign film” and just say good movie.