Carter Parent Guide
With some of the worst editing ever done, this movie can cause motion sickness in susceptible viewers. Be warned.
Parent Movie Review
As the mysterious DMZ virus spreads around the world, the CIA are in Korea looking for just one man: Carter Lee (Joo Won). He is the last person known to have seen Dr. Jung Byung-ho (Jung Jae-young), a scientist working on a cure based on his daughter’s antibodies. When the CIA catches up with Carter, they find him passed out in a back-room surgery center, with his memory gone, a speaker in his ear, and a bomb in his head. A voice over the speaker starts giving him directions, and Carter soon finds himself enmeshed in a convoluted web of conspiracy, espionage, betrayal, and violence. Whether or not he’ll be able to make it out alive depends on his ability to find the truth about the DMZ virus and his own identity. But both are far more complex than they appear.
This amateurish production tries to fool us into believing it was shot in one take (which isn’t an easy trick to pull off). Since it’s prohibitively difficult and expensive to shoot an entire movie in one take, movies going for that look must find places to hide cuts. Carter hides them roughly every thirty seconds, and the camera never stops spinning. The cuts don’t quite match up, though, and it’s incredibly disorienting. Characters are suddenly somewhere else, camera angles are different; even backgrounds no longer line up. Add to that some fully digital environments and some cheap green screen work (so cheap you can still see the green light on actors’ faces) and you’ve just got a big nauseating mess. If I saw this in theaters, I’m pretty sure I would have been spraying this morning’s Cheerios all over the seat in front of me or gulping down Gravol. Even watching it at home on a smaller screen leaves me incredibly dizzy. If you are prone to motion sickness, stay far, far away from this film. Even if you’re not, why risk it?
The other issue in this hot mess of a film is the English dialogue. I’m sure this is a problem with American movies shown in other languages as well, and maybe this sounds just fine in Korean, but the English characters sound bad. Really, really, really bad. Thankfully, this makes a pretty good match to the insanely convoluted and overlong plot. It’s less a coherent movie and more a bag of conspiracy theories and regional tensions tossed in a woodchipper and then committed to shaky over-edited film.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie that made me quite this nauseous. While I’d like to blame that on the opening fight scene, which is about ten minutes of our hero in his underwear, stabbing the daylights out of about fifty naked men in a bathhouse, it has far more to do with the camera work, fight choreography, and unintelligible story. It’s like trying to watch the fight scenes from The Bourne Supremacy on a merry-go-round. I don’t recommend it. It’s a BYOB kind of film – Bring Your Own Barf bag.Directed by Jung Byung-gil. Starring Joo Won, Jung Jae-young, Lee Sung-Jae, Jeong So-ri. Running time: 132 minutes. Theatrical release August 5, 2022. Updated August 5, 2022
Watch the trailer for Carter
Rating & Content Info
Why is Carter rated TV-MA? Carter is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: Countless people are stabbed, sliced, shot, blown up, burned, beaten to death, and pushed to their deaths. Corpses are seen being dumped into a mass grave. A man’s tooth is pulled out with pliers.
Sexual Content: Men and women are seen completely nude in a brawl in a bathhouse.
Profanity: There are five sexual expletives, ten uses of scatological profanity, and infrequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters are seen vaping, smoking, and drinking briefly.
Page last updated August 5, 2022
Carter Parents' Guide
This movie mines conspiracy theories throughout the plot. Why do conspiracy theories appeal to some people? What conspiracy theories are best known to you? Do you know people who believe them? Why do they accept the theory? Have you ever investigated a conspiracy theory? What sources did you use to research it? How did you determine if those sources were trustworthy and fact-based?
Related home video titles:
Some better examples of South Korean cinema include Parasite, Call, and Space Sweepers. The Academy Award winning director of Parasite, Bong Joon-ho, also directed Snowpiercer. If you like shaky hard-to-follow fight scenes, then you’ll love The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum. If you like your fast-paced violence a little easier to track, try Nobody, John Wick, John Wick: Chapter Two, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, The Protege, or Kate.