Space Sweepers (2021)
February 8, 2021 6:17 AM - Subscribe

Set in the year 2092 and follows the crew of a space junk collector ship called The Victory. When they discover a humanoid robot named Dorothy that's known to be a weapon of mass destruction, they get involved in a risky business deal. Available on Netflix.

After snatching a crashed space shuttle in the latest debris chase, Spaceship Victory's crew members find a 7-year-old girl inside. They realize that she's the humanlike robot wanted by UTS Space Guards and decide to demand ransom in exchange.

Polygon: Netflix’s Space Sweepers is a live-action riff on Cowboy Bebop: "Heralded as the first blockbuster Korean space opera, Jo Sung-hee’s Space Sweepers quickly moves to undercut any grandeur that might come from that statement ... Jo’s film is concerned with the people who can’t afford the benefits of the new world, including Victory’s eponymous “space sweepers.” The protagonists make their living as a crew of freelance interplanetary rag-and-bone men who gather the scraps the wealthy utopians leave behind. The sweepers are perpetually broke, as destitution looms far more ominously than the cold vacuum of space."
posted by jazon (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I put this on the other night with low expectations, but I really enjoyed it. Bubs was great particularly the scene between Dorothy and Bubs.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

My wife put this on during the weekend, since she knows that I love Korean dramas.

It was great! Good action, terrible choices to be made by the main characters and moral dilemmas for some of the supporting cast.

My wife really enjoyed it.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 1:55 PM on February 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

This was a lot of fun! I like that it felt like a fully-realized world, but didn't get bogged down in explaining every little detail - the things that were important about the world were explained as necessary to understand the plot, but never at the expense of action or proceedings.
posted by destructive cactus at 1:41 PM on February 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

This was pretty fun. It's a little discombobulated but it keeps chugging along so the silly/dumb/unpolished parts don't last too long or have to bear too much weight. The crew is likable too, and I really liked the multiculturalism.

Amusing observations that will sound like gripes: I loved Captain Jang's secret talking gun but AFAICT it and she were practically useless in the final battles; I wanted it to do something cool. Also I have no idea what the actual state of Tae-ho's daughter was supposed to be.
posted by fleacircus at 9:53 PM on February 9, 2021

I think Tae-Ho's daughter was dead from the initial accident and he wanted to find her body. She was dead, but her corpse was still floating in space without burial/closure. So at the end the nano-bots help him visualize the corpse.
posted by kittensofthenight at 10:38 PM on February 9, 2021 [4 favorites]

I thought that they had to move the bomb so that the shock waves wouldn't destroy Dorothy's nanobots, but then how did they survive the blast?
posted by dhruva at 6:33 PM on February 10, 2021

They didn't. Under Kot-nim's control the lagrangian nanobots resurrected them.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 7:10 PM on February 10, 2021

I was a little sad they didn't give a good look at the new ship but this movie seems made with the pause button in mind.
posted by fleacircus at 11:08 AM on February 11, 2021

This movie was AMAZING. In a just world, it would have the impact that Star Wars did in 1977. Granted, it seemed like a melange of movies we’ve seen before: Guardians of the Galaxy meets Serenity meets the Fifth Element meets Mass Effect meets the films of Jeunet and Caro, but it was done so well and with such heart. The world-building was so great, with so many thought-out details mentioned only in passing (like Captain Jang’s gun being happy to see her again). The main characters all had fulfilling story arcs. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats.

A friend watched it with her young son, and her son’s critique was that the bad guy seemed underdeveloped. My response was that a rich white guy willing to slaughter billions of less fortunate people so that other rich white people could prosper was clearly not far-fetched. Schools should teach Space Sweepers in social studies class.
posted by ejs at 2:21 AM on February 12, 2021 [5 favorites]

Saw it last night and it was fun but felt pretty disposable as entertainment.
posted by octothorpe at 5:11 AM on February 12, 2021

I liked it, but I was annoyed that the only option was for subtitles and not captions. Thankfully that ultimately didn't really make a _huge_ difference, but I really do like having captions for the English speaking parts as well as translated subtitles for the foreign language parts.

But it was fun, a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours.
posted by Kyol at 6:23 PM on February 16, 2021

We just watched it dubbed.
posted by octothorpe at 6:07 AM on February 17, 2021

I enjoyed this and there is not much lately that really holds my attention for 2+ hours. I normally watch in original language plus closed captioning because of hearing loss, but I had to move to dubbed English + captioning
-- there was too much switching to various languages among the crew and various other sweepers for me to keep up. Rapid fire Korean/Mandarin/
English/Russian/German/French+ conveyed the galactic internationality (?) but it made me dizzy trying to parse the languages, read the screen, watch the action and take in the world building. Maybe I am just slowing down!

Anyway I liked the characters, the story line, the occasional surprises, and I would watch a sequel. Which says a lot, as this is not at all my genre.
posted by alwayson_slightlyoff at 1:07 AM on February 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

So, this was pretty much Live Action Anime Space Movie: The Movie (No Giant Robots Edition). And ... OK. It wasn't a great movie by any means, but I don't regret having watched it, and there are plenty of movies that I do regret having watched.

I liked their plan for the bomb at the end (good plan! nicely done, movie!), and I liked the casual use of mixed languages in the dialogue.

I wish the melodrama of the characterization had been turned way down and the characterization of the characterization had been turned way up.
posted by kyrademon at 7:21 AM on February 24, 2021

Here are a few things I noticed - I really loved the doors in this show? I donno, they were cool! The language use was super fun, I'm glad they did it. True to anime form, the character's were all 15+ years older than they looked. Some of the english dialogue sounded like it was written by non-english speakers, which was also super fun to hear. And finally, I noticed how juicy and steamy the engine room was. Real fire and smoke, instead of flashes and zaps. Ha!
posted by rebent at 7:10 AM on February 26, 2021

I do not know why, but I find the translation of people-of-nefarious-intent as "scums" (as in "Those scums!") weirdly charming. This marks the fourth time I have seen it used in translated media.
posted by kyrademon at 2:01 PM on February 26, 2021

This was a good light action sci-fi film: nothing deep but solid entertainment for a rainy day. I’d rank it on par with anything George Lucas could do on his own, maybe better for not having a sequence designed to sell a licensed video game.
posted by adamsc at 3:25 PM on February 28, 2021

I liked it! The searching for his daughter, I agree, was weird, in that it wasn't clear whether she was dead or in some sort of automated suspended animation. I thought I missed something.

Other minor nitpick: the color was super-saturated, to the point that red things had a weird aura.
posted by condour75 at 5:20 PM on March 1, 2021

I enjoyed this a lot, but near the end my partner and I were weirded out by the implied Holocaust backstory for the main villain (150-some years old, watched his mother burned to death in a genocide, current year is 2090ish?). Did that register for anyone else?
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2021

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