Seen in Jeonju

Sector 7 (2011)

5th August 2011

sector 7

Sector 7 opened yesterday. A 3D-optional, action/adventure film featuring Ahn Seong-gi, Ha Ji-won and Oh Ji-ho battling a monster-from-the-deep aboard an offshore oil rig, this movie seems to have the recipe for success. What could go wrong?  Apparently, quite a bit…

water bearPerhaps I should start with the good.  The special effects were very well done.  Now, I did not see the movie in 3D, so I cannot comment on that aspect of the film, but the CGI monster was very appearance anyway. In fact, it reminded me a lot of a water bear (pictured right).  Water bears are extremely hardy, primitive animals found in the deepest oceans and in the highest mountains. Nasa sent some into the airless vacuum of space and not only did they survive, but they reproduced. The hardiness of a water bear is pretty much the only way to describe the durability of the monster in this film. You can shoot it, chop it, burn it and crush it, but it just keeps coming. The only difference is that water bears are less than a millimeter long while the monster in the movie seems to be about 4 meters. (and it is a little sad that I would rather write about water bears than this film…)

While the look of the monster was good, we had to look at it far too much during the movie. Once it makes its official screen debut in all its slimy glory, we can’t get rid of it. It would have been nice to have some time with it offscreen to give a chance for the script to develop some of the characters. Nor did we need to see each killing as it occured. It would have been just as effective to view the aftermath of the monster’s attacks once in awhile.  In fact, the only place we do not see the creature is on any of the posters advertising the movie.  I can fix that with the aid of the photo of my friend the water bear above. 

sector 7 b

There we go.. that’s a more accurate depiction of the film…

The actors do what they can with this movie, but the script does nothing to help them. Hae-joon (Ha Ji-won) is inconsistantly written. At times she is a tough, no nonsense laborer who is ready to fight at the drop of a hat and chase down a suspected murderer. But other times she seems screams like she’s in a slasher flick.  I also found her reason for staying on the oil rig unrealistic and detracted from my opinion of her. But at least her character had a personality. Did Oh Ji-ho’s character Dong-soo have any lines that strung more than 10 words together? I can’t remember. I do remember Ahn Seong-gi’s mid-movie revelation. It comes out of left field and marks the point I would identify as the downward turn of the film.  Oh–now that I’m thinking about it, that point might have been where we are given a montage of things that I am sure you are not supposed to do on an oil rig. I won’t say too much about it except, if you don’t want to shell out cash for the motorcycle-action film Quick now doing fairly well in theaters, this sequence is probably the next ‘best’ thing. The worst part of all comes when the film tries to force sentimentality on us at the very end. At no point did I have an emotional response to the characters or identify with their feelings.

Actually, I have no doubt that Sector 7 will be number one at the end of this weekend… and I would have seen it myself even if  after reading a review like this–but it is hard for me to recommend this movie unless you are just looking to watch a film where you can turn off your brain and just watch events unfold. Heavy on action, light on plot..att the very least, you won’t be bored.

Pick one!   One link is a short Youtube video about Water Bears!  The other is the website of Sector 7.  Choose wisely.

One Response to “Sector 7 (2011)”

  1. Seen in Jeonju » Blog Archive » Korean Box Office: August 5-7 Says:

    [...] the horrible reviews the movie has been getting, including my own, Sector 7 wound up in the first ranked tier this past weekend as predicted. The vastly superior [...]