Carter Movie Review: Netflix’s Crazy Korean Action Movie Is Ambitious, But Aggressively Dumb
Shattering both your low expectations and your will to live, Netflix’s Carter is such a ridiculous action flick you’ll often wish you were among the dozens of faceless villains whose heads are smashed to a pulp by the film’s protagonist. A quick, cartoonish death, at the very least, would mean you wouldn’t have to endure another minute of this endlessly torturous experience.
Starring Joo Won as an amnesiac spy tasked with transporting a young girl to North Korea amid a plague of zombies, Carter is directed by Jung Byung-gil, who gained international recognition after directing the film. action movie The Villainess. Fans of this film will remember the stunning sets that director Jung filmed in unbroken single takes, one of which was copied in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. In Carter, he ambitiously extends this style to feature length. And his dedication to seeing this silly idea through to the end draws the fine line between ambition and delusion.
The film is designed to appear as one continuous shot from the first frame to the last – every 120 minutes and counting – but the shooting is so juvenile and the plot so wacky that you can’t help but wonder how it turned out. been authorized. go beyond the first cutting step. This isn’t the first time a filmmaker has attempted to create this illusion on screen. Sam Mendes’ epic war film 1917 remains perhaps the best example of this form of cinema, while the recent psychological drama Boiling point was not left out either.
But whereas 1917 was pieced together from a handful of extended footage with the cuts blanked out, Boiling Point was actually filmed in one take. It would have been impossible for a movie on the scale of Carter – it’s fistfights over rooftops, a parachute jump, a highway chase and, in the end, an aerial battle. in helicopters.
Not a single scene in this film is up to par. In fact, it’s actively underwhelming at first, and downright infuriating by the time our protagonist has a shootout with a cackling villain. The camera work that was so elegant in 1917 is clumsy in Carter. Even the most inexperienced viewers will be able to identify the “hidden” cuts, which occur so frequently that the filmmakers might as well have given up on hiding them.
Not that a more conventional visual approach would have made Carter a better movie. Not only does Jung (unsuccessfully) mimic the action scenes of films such as Eastern Promises and his own The Villainess, but he also tries to lift the central plot of Children of Men. The young girl Carter is trying to smuggle to North Korea apparently holds the key to humanity’s survival – she has shown a vaguely defined immunity to the virus.
But while the film makes some overt political statements — the central plot involves a temporary union between North and South Korea, while Americans are portrayed as the bad guys — Carter doesn’t fully explore the geopolitical repercussions of a girl like Ha-Na existing in the midst of a global crisis like this. Even though every secret agency in the world seems to be after Carter, no one really seems to care about her.
More than a movie, Carter looks like a video game in beta phase. When you’re not debating to yourself whether this film is actually worse than Rashtra Kavach Om, you’ll wonder if Max Payne 2 – a game released in 2003 – had a more believable visual aesthetic. These distractions will invariably be more entertaining (and engaging) than anything in this movie.
Director – Jung Byung-gil
Cast –Joo Won
Evaluation – 1/5