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Review Psychokinesis a.k.a.Yeom-lyeok (2018): One hell of a superhero movie!

genre: super hero, action, adventure, science fiction, comedy, drama

Psychokinesis for some reason is advertised as comedy on Netflix and while it has some comedic elements it's mostly a serious drama with action and adventure. This is only the second live action film from director Yeon Sang-ho of Train to Busan but he definitely shows you he is capable of more.

That being said this (distributed) Netflix original is far from perfect. It doesn't go as deep as it could have gone. At the core this film is about the relationship between estranged father Seok-heon (Ryu Seung-ryong and daughter Shin Roo-mi (Shim Eun-kyung) who is embroiled in a feud or fight with a corporation hell-bent to build a big shopping mall. In one of the actions against the local shop and building owners Shin Roo-mi's mother gets killed. It's at this point that low life security guard Seo-heon gets blessed with telekinetic powers. When he discovers them he has some idea what to do with them but he needs to be confronted with his daughter and other truths to use them appropriately.. The film doesn't waste time to show the action and spectacle. While relatively small scaled most of the action looks spectacular. It doesn't take long for Seok-heon to get a grasp of his powers and yet he lacks conviction. It makes sense since the character basically went through life as an underachiever. But once he realizes what he is capable of he doesn't hold back.

I thoroughly enjoyed the action but was a little underwhelmed with the social commentary and minimalistic and subtle approach to the father and daughter relationship. Especially since director Yeon Sang-ho did much better regarding this aspect in Train to Busan. All we get to see is that Seok-heon tries to make up for having abandoned his wife and child. Daughter Shin Roo-mi who is very brave and capable needs all the help she can get. She is very desperate but afraid to admit she needs help. Then when Seok-heon shows up after being invited by his daughter she can't handle it him trying to be the parent he never was. I had hoped to see more confrontations and conflicts between them. Shin Roo-mi has every right to be angry with her father. It would have been nice to see them go at each other. Instead the focus is on his powers against the evil corporation.

Certainly worth your time but if I have to compare to Train to Busan it's far lighter and less impactlul. Still it's one hell of a superhero movie.

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