Netflix’s Korean ‘Space Sweepers’ is a Wickedly Fun Space Opera

Julien Neaves, Sci Fi Head Writer

Plot: In the year 2092 Earth is highly toxic and barely habitable, and only a privileged few can live in luxury in the UTS Corporation orbiting platform. When a misfit crew of scavengers discovers a missing UTS android named “Dorothy”, they are drawn into a massive conspiracy with world-ending consequences.

Review: As a massive Sci Fi fan if I see anything set in space, that is about enough to get me interested. So when South Korean space opera Space Sweepers popped up on Netflix I had to add it to my list. And while I was expecting a decent Sci Fi adventure I was not expecting the film to be so dang good.

Should we poke it with a stick?

The first thing that grabs you is the stellar visual effects. The ships, mech suits, robots, space stations and the worlds are all detailed and stunning, and really help with the immersion.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the way language is presented. The main crew is South Korean and speak in Korean, but there are characters from all over the world and they all speak in their native languages. Everyone understands everyone else through translation devices, and this seems like a likely scenario for the future of communication.

When you’re trying to balance your budget with savings of $500 and debts of $10,000

The next best thing is the crew. Man I love these guys. There is the alcoholic female captain, down-on-his-luck pilot, ex-criminal engineer and snarky robot. Everyone’s a mess and their bickering is a riot. They have no money, no prospects and the ship (ironically called Victory) seems always on the verge of falling apart. So much fun.

The wacky crew dynamic reminded me of shows like Firefly and Guardians of the Galaxy, and Space Sweepers is a worthy addition to the rag-tag-team-of-unlikely-adventures subgenre. Is that a subgenre? Well it is now. Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy) is also here and he plays the bombastic CEO of UTS in a performance that leaves no scene unchewed.

#totesadorbes

It would be remiss of me not to mention young actress Park Ye-rin as Dorothy. She is one of the most adorable kid characters I have ever seen. Clever, sweet and interminably cute, I would travel to the ends of space and back to protect her as well. I won’t go into her origins as I am keeping things spoiler-free, but I will say she is a very special girl in more ways than one.

The film also does a brilliant job of balancing its comedic and action tones. I was cracking up one minute, thrilled with adventure the next, and slightly shocked at violence the other minute. But it all works and feels like a cohesive whole, and kudos to director Jo Sung-hee.

Oh ship

The pacing builds throughout to a very action-packed climax. The ending was a bit weird for me but I could work with it and it was not a deal-breaker.

So if you are looking for an unendingly entertaining space opera then you need to hire the Space Sweepers.

Editor Jules’s Score: 8.5 out of 10

For Senior Writer Sommer’s review of AI flick Archive you can click here. And for more than 150 Sci Fi film and television reviews and lists you can click here.

B0FC059B-BBEE-47CF-90E4-D588C1BACD93 Julien “Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. I can also be found posting about TV and movie memes, news and trailers on Facebook at Movieville. And to stay on top of all Redmangoreviews articles you can like and follow us on Facebook here.