Jung_E Parent Guide
Sadly, the script abandons its more interesting premises to focus on a mother/daughter relationship.
Parent Movie Review
After earth becomes uninhabitable, humans create large shelters orbiting the Earth. This existence becomes precarious when some of the shelters unite to attack the others, forcing all of humanity into a decades long civil war. One of the greatest fighters in the war, Captain Yun Jung-Yi (Kim Hyun-joo), fails an important mission and is left comatose. Desperate to end the war, her daughter, Dr. Yun Seo-hyun (Kang Soo-youn), replicates her brain in an attempt to create the ultimate Artificial Intelligence battle clone.
Science fiction needs to be one of two things: a high action romp, or a meditation on humanity, mortality, and the implications of technology. Of course, a good sci-fi film can be both of those things, but it cannot be neither. Unfortunately, Jung_E fails to be either a fun action flick or a deep exploration of serious themes. It is, at its best moments, an exploration of the relationship between a mother and daughter, but the script seems reluctant to move any deeper than that.
There are some incredibly interesting ideas involved in this script. For example, we learn that in this future, everyone can have their consciousness transferred into an AI brain before death, allowing them to live on. However, only people who can afford it are given full human rights in their new bodies. Most people become nothing more than property of large corporations, who can do what they will with their bodies and consciousness. That’s a fantastic plot concept! Disappointingly, the film does absolutely nothing with it after one conversation. A far better script would have explored the themes of consciousness, capitalism, and human rights, but this one ditches any interesting ideas in favor of the mother/daughter dynamic.
I cannot say enough about the stellar acting of the two leads. Their performances are phenomenal and make the film much more watchable than it otherwise would be. The mother/daughter storyline is well done, but it’s not enough to fill 90 minutes of screen time, leading to some boring corporate drama in the second act to pad the time. The action sequences are great, with many of the special effects rivaling some of the best Hollywood can do, though there are a handful of sequences with noticeably bad effects, leading me to wonder if the budget ran out somewhere in post-production.
As with most adult sci-fi, the level of violence makes this unsuitable for a family audience. For genre fans, Jung_E is a serviceable entry, at the very least for some of the ideas and the action scenes, but the script’s failure to deal with its ideas with any real depth is disappointing and makes the entire production feel hollow.
Directed by Sang-ho Yeon. Starring Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-Soo, Kang Soo-youn. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release January 20, 2023. Updated January 20, 2023
Watch the trailer for Jung_E
Rating & Content Info
Why is Jung_E rated TV-MA? Jung_E is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for violence.
Violence: There are scenes of sci-fi action throughout. Guns are used in many scenes, though mainly against robots, not humans. A human-like robot’s arm is cut off. A human woman is shot; some blood is shown.
Sexual Content: A brief scene shows a human-like robot partially nude from behind. There is a brief discussion of AI having sexual uses.
Profanity: 4The script contains mild expletives and a single term of deity. A sexual hand gesture is seen briefly.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated January 20, 2023
Jung_E Parents' Guide
Why is Seo-hyun so determined to make her AI project work? How does she gain closure with her mother as the story progresses?
Related home video titles:
For a more family-friendly film about a customized battle clone, you can try Alita: Battle Angel.
Star Trek: First Contact sends the crew of the USS Enterprise into the past to prevent the clones of the Borg from altering Earth’s history.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer, a man decides to clone himself so his family won’t mourn his loss in Swan Song.