Save the Green Planet

2004

Save the Green Planet

Critics Consensus

A funny and wildly inventive hybrid of various genres, Save the Green Planet! is definitely a unique viewing experience.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 41

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,354
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Save the Green Planet Photos

Movie Info

The genre-bending black comedy sci-fi thriller Save the Green Planet! marks the feature debut of writer/director Jang Jun-hwan. Shin Ha-kyun of Joint Security Area stars as Byun-gu, an eccentric beekeeper who, with the help of his tightrope walker girlfriend, Sooni (Hwang Jeong-min), kidnaps a powerful and successful businessman, Man-sik (Baek Yun-shik). Byun-gu believes that Man-sik is an alien from the planet Andromeda, one of many hiding among us and plotting to destroy the Earth in a few days. Amphetamine-popping Byun-gu sees himself as the planet's last hope, and sets about torturing Man-sik with relish, trying to convince him to contact the "Royal Prince" and call off Armageddon. A battle of wits and wills ensues, with Man-sik trying to convince his captors that he's human and attempting to escape. Man-sik recognizes Byun-gu as a disgruntled former employee whose comatose mother suffers from a mysterious illness. It begins to seem that Byun-gu's true motivation may be personal, but he's still ruthlessly determined to get Man-sik to confess and cooperate, even if he has to risk killing him. Meanwhile, a disheveled detective, Chu (Lee Jae-yong), and his young acolyte, Inspector Kim (Lee Ju-hyeon), discover that the person who kidnapped Man-sik may have struck several times before, always with deadly results. The distinctly offbeat Save the Green Planet! was a box-office flop in South Korea, but it won some acclaim on the festival circuit. The film had its U.S. premiere at the 2004 New York Korean Film Festival.

Cast

Shin Ha-Gyun
as Lee Byeong-Gu
Baek Yun-shik
as Kang Man-Shik
Lee Jae-Yong
as Detective Chu
Joo-hyun Lee
as Detective Kim
Ki Ju-Bong
as Detective Lee
Kim Dong-hyun
as Tae Shik
Kwang-shik Kim
as Detective Seo
Won Woong-Jae
as Detective Jang
Ye Soo-Jung
as Byeong-Gu's Mother
Jang Young-Joo
as Old Byeong-Gu's Father
Son Jong-Hwan
as Sooni's Father
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Critic Reviews for Save the Green Planet

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (16)

  • Punk graphics and a snaking camera add zest to the story, which is alternately heartbreaking, suspenseful, and darkly funny.

    Jun 6, 2007 | Full Review…
  • The film oscillates between wild humour, suspense, horror and pathos, sometimes all in one shot. It's quite something.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Save The Green Planet has a free-ranging mood, mixing tragedy and comedy irregularly, but Jeong's film is equally free with genre, and entertains its audience openly before pouring on the astringent.

    Sep 26, 2005

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Like any roller-coaster ride, it may make you queasy, but you'll never be bored.

    Aug 5, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Demented yet somehow humane, Save The Green Planet is a visually ingenious hybrid melding horror, black comedy, revenge thriller and science fiction into an unpredictable, cohesive whole.

    Jul 22, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Entertaining, visually inventive and truly out-there.

    Jul 22, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for Save the Green Planet

  • Dec 10, 2012
    Utterly bizarre, existential, sci-fi, bloody, South Korean madness...
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2012
    If you look at the trailer, this movie would appear to be a comedy but you quickly discover that it is a horror film and one without a lot of merit. Disturbing.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 06, 2011
    Bizarrely impressive, Save The Green Planet! is an obtrusive South Korean hybrid of ridiculous mystery, grotesque suspense, odd romance, eccentric science fiction, and dark humor that follows the dangerous obsession of a man with the extraterrestrial. Save The Green Planet! may be corrupt, but the inventive original idea is preposterously remarkable that frankly created a new genre, which Save The Green Planet! selfishly occupy. Organized chaos.
    Jan Marc M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2011
    This movie is absolute insanity, much like its protagonists, but I can pretty much guarantee that none of you have ever seen a movie like this and probably never will for a long time. I jizzed over the Adjustment Bureau and how that movie successfully mixed two genres into one movie. Well this movie is far more impressive. There's sci-fi, there's horror, there's thriller, there's comedy, some romance and even a little bit of social commentary. Realistically this movie is all over the place with its ideas, despite it all, it's a movie that just manages to click on all cylinders. I did like the story and how there is some emotional depth to the main character, to the point where, even if you know he's insane, you can sympathize with him because they do give you all aspects of his backstory. And you can see how that would drive him insane. So that was a fresh perspective. As is typical in a lot of these Korean movies I've seen, the acting is strong, especially by the main actor, who's really quite great. The rest of the cast is really good, but Shin Ha-gyun just does a great job with his performance. While the movie was not as funny as I thought it was going to be, it was still funny, but the movie was really a pleasant surprise on all fronts. For what it lacked in laugh out loud moments, it certainly made up for it with strong characters and a strong story. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that the Americans haven't tried to remake the movie, while dumbing it down for more casual audiences. But it's for the better, because what this movie does and its spirit, is caught perfectly in this movie and that's something you just can't replicate. It's funny, it's disturbing, it's sad, it's insane and it's just one of the most inventive movies of this past decade and it's a movie I wholeheartedly recommend, it literally has something for everyone. Transformers 3 won't give you that, so think about it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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