I sat down for supper last night and saw on Discord that it was viewing party night so I thought, what the hell. I had never heard of this previously and went in completely blind. So the guy that did Train to Busan did this? Not gonna lie, Psychokinesis wasn’t nearly as good or well made as that. I will say that it is complete insanity throughout and was a blast to watch. Unfortunately, trying to read Korean text as it blew by didn’t make for the greatest chat ability through Discord.
I am glad I watched this. The others did not share my enthusiasm for this marvel of modern cinema, but that is ok. I promised a 3.5/5 score, but after thinking it over, I’ll do a 3/5 and call it good. I think the movie is a lot more fun than that particular score indicates, but I can live with it.
We start off with some girl that is the chicken frying queen of South Korea apparently. She even gets a thumbs up from all her customers. Cut to her sleeping in her shop overnight and some thugs breaking in for reasons that are not clear at all. In the struggle to get her out, her mother returns in a van and sees this mob trying to do something not good to her daughter so she tries to run them over. Unfortunately, she misses and ends up in the hospital from a brain injury then later dies. In the meantime, the girl’s father drinks some mystery water that grants him the ability of psychokinesis. Your good on spoilers because that is like the first ten minutes.
From there, the story proceeds in this really bizarre fashion by not really telling you why things are the way they are for a long stretch of the runtime. I did like how this unfolded because I’m kind of partial to things like this such as Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, and Memento. Those films really delivered some amazing stories while leaving you wondering just what in the hell was going on throughout. This is not to say I would compare the storytelling in this movie to anything like those though. Psychokinesis has this very strange insanity that resembles those but doesn’t really imitate them fully.
So before I get too far along, let’s talk about the bad. Once old dude gets his powers in full, he busts out some Hulk jumps, Spidey wall crawl, and Neo flying around the Matrix stuff. I really felt that all this was a pretty derivative of many other films. I’d have much rather the fighting was something more in line with his earlier fights where he used his surroundings to pummel his enemies. Maybe crush some cars and smash the bad guys or bounce filing cabinets off them. Instead, it turned into this kind of awful mashup of action scenes lifted from other movies and that is unfortunate.
The other thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was the CGI. It was pretty bad in places. I can forgive that when or if I ever watch this again because the overall film was pretty entertaining, but it definitely took away from the overall score.
I think the fact that a movie like this can even get made is saying something. It’s basically a Korean take on Chronicle with a lot more personal story and heart. The father had left when his daughter was young so she really felt betrayed and showed it at every turn. The father was dopey but he did try for her. The lengths he goes to in order to help her is pretty cool to see and pretty down to earth considering he has some pretty amazing abilities.
Speaking of abilities, at one point he tried to make some money doing a show and there was a promise of something funny that didn’t happen, unfortunately. However, when he goes off at the end it was definitely worth it, but I can’t help but wonder how much fun his stage show would have been.
I haven’t mentioned the villainess yet, but the actress was rock solid in her ability to portray someone bent on getting what she wanted as head of a somewhat criminal organization. We even get some glimpses of the lengths that character would go.
So in closing, I really had a good time watching this. South Korean films tend to be these incredibly ridiculous things that are awesome to watch. I haven’t been disappointed yet which I’m sure they have some really bad movies too. Fortunately, the really good and or really fun movies make their way into my radar.