Psychokinesis (2018) Poster

(2018)

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7/10
Simple, yet, witty.
shuyaakitatsuya29 April 2018
This is my very first review, so let me introduce myself.

I am half Korean, half Japanese, raised in an English speaking country of all places. I'm a self proclaimed movie maniac who enjoys movies as they are.

Alright, let's move on.

When I heard about this movie and saw the trailer, this reminded me titles like Hancock and Inuyashiki. Perhaps some of you reading this may thought of that too.

Are they similar? I'd say yes, but it takes a surprising fresh take.

The premise of the film is quite ridiculous and the film well knowingly understands it's own ridiculousness. But that is the very charm of the film, it doesn't try to hide it. It's very down-to-the-earth witty in it's own terms. The story is quite simple and cliche, in terms of International standards, heck even in Korea cinema, it's been done before, minus the hero elements. But it's the simplicity of using social issues in Korea that creates the working story. If you have watched the film ''Holiday'', you'd find some similarities that point towards power abuse in the growing economic power in Asia, where weak minorities are given no slack and are simply pushed around like slaves. It's something that as a Korean viewer can easily relate to, which makes the simple story very human. Unlike films like Avengers or Hancock, where the issues are caused by ''inhuman'' plots. Not to take jabs at those movie though, I loved the latest film.

Despite the somewhat dark undertone, it doesn't focus on that as some sort of political statement, but rather a crude satire. The film really doesn't hold back on it's comedy aspects, which a lot of Korean movies are known for. If you enjoy the subtle humor in Korean films, you'll enjoy this one too. I personally laughed quite a bit.

The characters also felt very human, except for one... very quirky business woman. Acting was quite good too and the relationship between the father and daughter was also very well portrayed. Under circumstances, the father left when the heroine was very young and when he did happen to return, there was nothing but awkward tension. It was quite realistic. Though there wasn't much progression in character development between the two, but the story of the film only takes place in a matter of days, so it actually makes sense. Wouldn't expect something like that to be resolved in such a short time. The characters showed doubt, despite everything happening, but slowly tried to understand each other.

Though to note that this is no typical Superhero movie. I'd say that this takes one step less than Hancock did (who eventually did ''charity'' work). The main character is an ordinary middle-aged man, who sucks at is own job and steals toiletries. And despite his newfound powers, he did nothing in sort of using it for good. I'd say he caused more damage than good. Even when it appears he is trying to save ''people'', he is only there to save his daughter. He probably wouldn't have done anything with his powers if his daughter wasn't in any danger. This doesn't really change throughout the whole movie. But that goes back to the previously mentioned point about the film being ''human''. The motives are very simple, everyone is kinda moving for a single cause, or simply for their own gains. I think that this is a unique charm in Korean cinema and it works really well in this film as well. As for the villains... well they are quite simply... silly. Over the top acting, slap stick material goofs. Another charm of Korean films. Some people may find uninteresting, but if you love funny villains, this ones great in that front. Also the very unique business woman, only a minor character, but a highlight. A very sane, but a very insane sociopath. Sort of like a female Tony Stark, if only Stark was a villain.

Overall this was a very enjoyable movie with no downtime. It got straight to the point and didn't really waste that much time. Except it doesn't really get much done by the end of the film? The story is just so simple that it's just a point of time in life, you win some and lose some, then move on. There are no winners, there are no losers. In that premise, it's quite like ''Fly Daddy Fly'', another Korean cinema classic.

If you have some free time and have a Netflix sub, I recommend this a definite watch.

I give this a solid 7.5/10.

Sorry if this ''review'' of mine is a complete mess, it is my first one... anyways enjoy!
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8/10
Psychokinesis: When Korea goes Hollywood
Platypuschow20 March 2019
Forget DC, put aside Marvel, there is a new superhero in town and he's absolutely fantastic.

Now I had high hopes going in as I have a great history with Korean cinema, in fact the last movie I gave 10/10 was Korean (Train to Busan 2016) but I didn't actually expect Psychokinesis to be quite this good.

It tells the story of an absent bum father who returns after his ex-wife passes away. He tries to get back into his daughters life but meets understandable resistance, that is until he develops super powers and realizes he can use them to help her.

Now let's be clear this is a comedy more than anything, comedy with serious undertones, a decent budget and honestly could be considered family friendly. There is no swearing, the violence is at A-Team level (You know where explosions happen and people go flying but nobody gets hurt), and it's goofy in that really endearing kind of way.

A truly heart warming feel good film I applaud everyone involved. Though there were some aspects of the end I didn't entirely appreciate and would have written differently I can't say they take much away from the film.

This is so very very enjoyable, I laughed, I cheered, I welled up a little bit and walked away very satisfied.

The Good:

Feel good movie

Seung-ryong Ryu and Eun-kyung Shim

The Bad:

Feels a tad incomplete

Bit too goofy a couple of times

The word gosh (Translated) must have been used 100+ times
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7/10
Unsophisticated and enjoyable.
S_Soma26 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Opening Scenes Summary:

PSYCHOKINESIS (a South Korean movie I watched with English subtitles) opens with a local television station doing a human interest piece featuring a young woman running a small but very successful fried chicken restaurant (Korean-style fried chicken). That night, however, a score of men wearing construction hardhats break their way in to the closed restaurant and proceed to thoroughly trash it. The young woman struggles valiantly to stop them to no avail.

While the battle is ongoing, the young woman's mother drives up in a van and tries to help fend off the attackers but only succeeds in getting herself fatally injured, dying soon thereafter in surgery at the hospital. (For a description of what this battle was all about, please read the last paragraph of this review.)

Suddenly, in a following scene, we see a meteor streaking across the sky, a little boom, and then we see a little meteorite in its little crater. Something all sparkly-glowy comes flowing out of the meteorite, across the forest floor and into the water supply where it's immediately drunk by a late-middle-aged man as it comes out of the pipe at little drinking station in a forested hiking area. This late-middle-aged man is our hero.

Next we see our hero at his day job: a low ranking "security guard" (but mostly little more than a greeter) at a bank. He's definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer, is prone to stealing office supplies for his own use, and leads one of his coworkers down that same primrose path and gets her into serious trouble.

Getting drunk that evening out of a sense of guilt, we see the first expression of his meteorite-induced psychokinetic powers as he drunkenly knocks around the outdoor tables that he's drinking at.

Soon, our hero gets a call from his daughter informing him that his ex-wife, her mother, has been killed. We eventually learn that the original divorce came about as an expression of practicality because our hero got himself badly into debt and wanted to disassociate his wife and daughter with the results of his bad choices. His daughter, however, the fried chicken girl, has never forgiven him for leaving them.

Review:

Somewhat typical of a lot of South Korean adventure or fantasy movies, PSYCHOKINESIS is a combination of slapstick comedy intermingled with drama and somewhat over-the-top violence. As such, it's a fairly good representative movie reflecting South Korean tastes and sensibilities. Lots of yelling, lots of exaggerated takes and double takes and a big, pull-out-all-the-stops, battle scene just before the end. Throughout, major plot points are often left unexplained; the viewer is expected to simply accept them and move on. The overall level of sophistication is roughly that of, say, SON OF FLUBBER circa 1963. (It should be noted, however, that I caught at least one instance of the F-bomb.)

None of this is to suggest that this is a bad movie or that you shouldn't give it a go. But do keep in mind that it's flavor is specifically spiced for its target audience (South Korea) and American audiences might have to adjust their tastebuds a little to enjoy it.

While I do get a little tired of all the yelling, I personally rather liked it. Lots of traditional family values, a family mending what fences they can, a dad learning that trying harder is almost always the best approach, a daughter learning that dad wasn't, perhaps, quite the giant jerk she thought he was, a morality comment that superheroes have to do time if they break the law, and so on. Simple, exceedingly unsophisticated, and generally doesn't try to jam some liberal/progressive message wrapped in a movie down the viewer's throat.

As a concluding observation, it should be noted that the core plot line centers around some of the social turmoil that has accompanied South Korean redevelopment conflicts in recent years. Like many industrialized nations, some of the poorer cross-sections of society end up renting both residences and commercial property in rundown neighborhoods in which to live and have their businesses. As property values skyrocket, it is often financially rewarding for property owners to repurpose/redevelop depressed areas. This has led to actual battles fought in the streets with police forces attempting to forcibly remove renters/squatters. Many of the individual scenes depicted in the final showdown battle comes straight from newspaper accounts of actual events.
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8/10
What a good superhero movie should be about, rather than on CGI and other superficial excesses.
Hellmant31 May 2018
'PSYCHOKINESIS': Four Stars (Out of Five)

A South Korean superhero movie about a father that discovers he has superpowers, who then tries to use those powers to rescue his daughter. It stars Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung, Park Jung-min, Kim Min-jae and Jung Yu-mi. The film was written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho (who also performed both duties on the 2016 critically acclaimed 'zombies on a train' flick 'TRAIN TO BUSAN'), and it was released by Netflix through it's streaming site. I really enjoyed it.

The story is about a bank security guard, named Shin Seok-heon (Seung-ryong), who has a troubled relationship with his estranged daughter, Shin Roo-mi (Eun-kyung). He drinks some contaminated water from a mountain spring, and gains super telekinetic powers. He tries to use these powers to help his daughter, who is constantly being harassed by a corrupt construction company. Seok-heon becomes a reluctant superhero in the process.

The film is the first ever South Korean superhero movie, and it's definitely a refreshing change from the American ones (like the new 'AVENGERS'). This film has so much character, and genuine heart and emotion. It's pretty simple in it's action scenes, and villainous threat, which is what's so cool about it as well. The film concentrates on what a good superhero movie should be about, rather than on CGI and other superficial excesses. I really found it to be quite entertaining and effective.
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10/10
I had expected The Father to marry Director Hong lol~
wuhugm8 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Quite entertaining movie. The telekinesis' visual is on the same level as Chronicle so that's quite good. Characters behave realistically, except Director Hong, she's insane, and that's amazing lol~ Plot is not bad though the resolution feels incomplete. My only problem is it seems another power was developed beside telekinesis there.
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9/10
Wow! A feel good/comedy/HEARTWARMING movie!
investorman2 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie was really ENJOYABLE, the special effects is quite stunning and it shows how a simple failed father to come to the aid/rescue of a daughter that he failed to protect finally does some good!. Not to spoil, but at the beginning of the movie, his grown daughter decides to set up a restaurant which is doing pretty good with special fried chicken recipe, but a construction crew with shady ties decides to buy out the property management and then uses physical brute force to close her restaurant down. Just not to spoil anything but everything starts changing around her mothers funeral since the construction crew killed her mother by accident. Her father acquired special telekinetic power skills and just wrecks these construction/thug goons up lol YOU NEED TO SEE IT TO GET THE REST OF THE STORY. VERY GOOD AND ENTERTAINING!!! 9 out of 10. Even familiar faces like Mr. Kim (the guy that played the supervisor boss cop guy in Cheo Yong) is in it adding some funny highlights and awesomeness. Check it out! Its actually clean, fun, great for family entertainment!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!! THANK YOU FOR CREATING THIS UNIQUE MOVIE!! LOVED IT

PS: Ru-Mia's small group of restaurant patron fans tries to help her as best as they can, its like the simple people vs corporate construction thug goons with her father with an Ace card. CLEAN AND FUN for a change!
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9/10
If you liked Train to Busan, you'll like this.
JetFlower27 April 2018
While the supernatural powers are very cool, this movie is more about the relationship between a father and daughter. It's more comical than one might expect, perhaps a cultural difference. The production value is very high, there's nothing to fault here, technically, not in shot, acting, or plot. The main character is devastatingly average, perhaps below-average, in every way. You may, as I, find him not compelling as a hero, and wishing that it were you, instead, granted these powers. Or any number of other more capable people. Yet, the story is highly engaging, thrilling, and focused. It certainly got my blood pumping. Chronicle will always tell a better story of what may happen if you give a random person super-strong telekinesis, but as a father's redemption story, this movie is top-notch.
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7/10
A Fun Watch Like "Train To Busan"
neener370726 April 2018
Though it wasn't the masterpiece that some reviewers have said, nor was it a 1 star film, it was still enjoyable, especially if you go into it knowing Korean cinema style. Basically its your typical superhero tale. Average guy has a boring and average life until he comes in contact with a life altering substance that turns him into a superhero. He now uses his power to save his daughter from a shadowy organization. So its typical comic book stuff with a little "Taken" in there. Many will find this film to be too silly, but thats the style of Korean cinema, if anyone has seen "Train to Busan" you will see that a movie can still be amazing even with silly acting and borderline slapstick comedy. Unfortunately some people will be turned off by it if they are not used to it, but for this reviewer, it didn't bother me.

So as I said the acting is silly in some places. But this is common place for the region. Some of the serious acting was alright but I found it to be all very average. The cinematography was also hit and miss, some of it I thought was great but most was just average filming. The super hero scene, I did enjoy, though sometimes it borders on "The 3 Stooges" slapstick action. But I still enjoyed most of it. Not a thought provoking piece of cinema, but its still a fun watch if you've got nothing else to watch.
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6/10
I believe I can fly
kosmasp19 August 2018
And do other stuff that is. The premise with someone getting some uber power I think speaks to the kid inside us. Apparently most have dreamt of flying as kids (scientists or some research has found out). So this is an extension almost making a magician out of our main character. But as always, with great power comes great responsibility.

And in this case a lot of cliches. Not that there is anything to say against those things per se, but it also sometimes really takes the wind out of it. You can see where this is going - that doesn't mean you can't have fun with it - on the contrary. This really is something that kids may be able to enjoy, having good and bad, family drama and so much more
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6/10
A superhero movie that is quite down to Earth...
paul_haakonsen18 August 2018
What initially lured me to in to sit down and watch "Psychokinesis" was the fact that this was a South Korean movie. But the fact that the people behind "Train to Busan" also were onboard this one just sweetened the deal.

I am a big fan of Asian cinema, and South Korea do put a lot of good movies out there. And I will say that it was no different with "Psychokinesis" (aka "Yeom-lyeok"). This was definitely an entertaining movie in many aspects.

First of all, I am the first to admit that I am not overly keen on superhero movies, but "Psychokinesis" took the superhero aspect of the genre and brought it to a whole new place. This was not about people in spandex clothing running around being all invincible and showing off powers left and right without concern for the ordinary man around them. No, this was about an ordinary man with quite ordinary every day problems, whom just happened to get superhero powers accidentally and using them to further his own and his daughters goals. So that whole self-righteous and better-than-thou aspect wasn't here. And that made for a very realistic feel to the movie, especially since you could so easily relate to the main character.

"Psychokinesis" is not a movie about grand special effects, CGI and whoa-effects. It uses some CGI, of course, but it is done with limitation, as not to take over the whole movie (read Hollywood superhero franchise movies here). And the special effects / CGI worked out quite nicely in favor of the movie, as it supplemented the individual scenes well.

The movie had a good cast, which all performed quite well. I wasn't particularly familiar with anyone on the cast list here, but it was a good experience nonetheless.

If you enjoy South Korean movies, then you should definitely take the time to watch "Psychokinesis".
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Enjoyable and well made effects
karim_dj200410 June 2018
I liked the story how it begins and what missing is meteor came down on earth without anyone notice which is should have been any related story about it but in general great movie I loved it
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10/10
Psychokinesis Review: South Korea's first full-fledged superhero film is a complete masterpiece and total fun!
Prashast_Singh8 April 2018
Movie: Psychokinesis (15): Action/Adventure/Fantasy - Korean

Director Yeon Sang-ho has proved his mettle once again. In 2016, he introduced the zombie apocalypse action thriller genre to South Korea with the excellent TRAIN TO BUSAN, and in 2018, he has introduced the superhero genre to his country in a very stylish, superb and delightful manner.

Positives:

  • Ryu Seung-ryong is aptly cast for the lead role and he is very impressive as the psychokinetic superhero who's very relatable and like any other human being. Shim Eun-kyung's performance is excellent and remarkable. Jung Yu-mi also impresses big time in a limited yet well-written character.
  • The visual effects are top notch and realistic. The VFX team has not made us "feel" the VFX, and that's a major plus for a film depending a lot on visual effects.
  • The action sequences are the best for any superhero film. Creativity is visible in every frame of the action blocks, particularly the final one, which is bound to be greeted with claps and whistles.
  • The music is heartwarming and fits very well into the narrative. It enhances the impact from time to time.
  • The emotional sequences are impactful and have been handled very well.
  • The cinematography and other technical aspects are also excellent, and the production values are very impressive.
  • The editing is excellent at 101 minutes as there's nothing boring or unimpressive throughout the whole movie. Director should be praised for blending action, comedy and emotions very well, in a proper proportion in the movie.
  • The humor is very effective.
  • The ending is very good.


Negatives:

  • Nil.


Repeat value: ABSOLUTELY!

PSYCHOKINESIS is South Korea's first attempt at the superhero genre and it needs to be both encouraged as well as appreciated, especially when it's so well made and masterfully crafted.
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10/10
Fun, quirky, triumphant!
watboy-3695915 August 2018
Lots of negative reviews on here which is surprising as I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The action sequences and special effects were tons of fun and quite different than I'm used to. The story although simple really leaves an impact. Some Moments will make you sad, some moments will make you laugh. This movie shows a lot of different angles of the human psyche and does not fail to entertain. Thr score was also very different than Im used to bu yet it framed the movie perfectly. 10 for me.
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9/10
Really enjoyable movie!
marcopalaria9 July 2018
A superhero plot with a great script. Human characters, intelligent dialogues, dramatic action at the right moment. It's perfect from beginning till the end. Another cool example of quality of the South Korean cinema.
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6/10
Quirky Korean superhero antics
Leofwine_draca27 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Yeon Sang-ho's follow up to his excellent TRAIN TO BUSAN is a different beast entirely, a superhero comedy flick that still manages to pack in the family drama and tragedy. It's a light and quirky affair, made in a genre which isn't strictly my cup of tea, but still engaging enough. As is usual with South Korean cinema, although the film has plenty of special effects in the form of some very good CGI used to levitate objects and people, the emphasis is very much on grounded characters. The humour is a bit abstract and very localised at times, but the plot generally works despite some slow spots here and there. The main actor and the actress playing his daughter are strong enough to invest you in their roles and there are some good, imaginative set pieces scattered throughout.
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2/10
get on the next train
realintheory10 May 2018
Train to Busan is great.. this isn't.. it's too simplistic.. it's almost a kids film. The caricature 'bad guys' are like something out of a 70s disney film. The 'estranged dad makes up with his lost daughter' is a total cliche. The central idea of 'deadbeat dad gets super powers' could have gone somewhere .. but.. it just doesn't.
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8/10
Little Guy vs Big Guys - with a twist
ddmcd-3425011 May 2018
A young woman runs a popular fried chicken restaurant in a comfortable but shabby old South Korean neighborhood. The Powers That Be decree that she and her neighbors must make way for urban demolition and new business development. Things spiral out of control into violence as The Mob and the Police conspire to evict her and her neighbors.

pk2.jpg Into this mix comes her dad whom she has not seen for ten years. He brings a newly and mysteriously acquired ability to manipulate and move objects -- and people -- by thought control. Street battles, barricades, and much flying rage on as, of course, he takes his daughter's side.

Movies about the Little Guy versus the Man have been made since the dawn of the 20th Century. There are even references here to Les Miserables. As with his masterful Train to Busan, director Sang-ho Yeon adds a down-home and personal touch to what otherwise might be trite and even mawkish.

Special effects are plentiful but never become overwhelming as in so many superhero films. Characters are human and very well portrayed with one particular mob boss being especially chilling despite an initially non-threatening appearance. There are even playful references to "North Korea" as being responsible for the mayhem.

I recommend this as a good, no-nonsense "us versus them" film that never lets the action overwhelm the characters. Nor does it venture into heavy-handed moralizing or political commentary. It's a fantasy, of course; there's very little blood despite the frequent flashes of violence. But it does let you "take sides" and cheer on the good guys in an almost guileless fashion. Having just seen the bone- and world-crushing excesses of The Avengers: Infinity War I see nothing wrong with that.

If you do want to see a completely different and seriously adult take on what happens when ordinary humans suddenly and miraculously acquire almost god-like powers, check out the ultra-violent Japanese anime series INUYASHIKI LAST HERO.
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9/10
Welcome the Korean Professor X
amaramabrisco28 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This was a fun spin on the hero genre with a very flawed character who gains incredible powers and uses them to gain what he never appeared to have real friends and loves. I love it when I find movies regardless of the language barrier translates so well. I loved Asian movies like this that mixes comedy, drama and action. Definitely a A rated movies for me it had me cheering for the flawed character and rooting for him to gain back his love from his daughter. It is exactly what I expect another great film from a great director.
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4/10
Let's be realistic
Snootz29 April 2018
The fact that this is a Korean super hero film doesn't turn a turd into a diamond. While much of the acting in it is pretty decent, the main actor is considerably over-the-top. This is most likely the director's fault rather than the actor. The storyline is mediocre. The most interesting role in the film was the female executive, a total psychopath / sociopath. The part was presented and played well.

The special effects are well-done throughout. That's a two-thumbs up.

The climax made little or no sense and the ending was trite and cliche. I'd give it a 5-star "okay" rating if not for the gratuitous language thrown in, which is unwarranted in a film of this kind.

I don't care whether it's Korean, Russian, U.S. or Transylvanian... I rate films by their content, quality and story. This film simply fails to deliver in the aspect of a quality tale. Rather than viewing this with glossy eyed "oh a super-hero movie from Korea!" let's be realistic and simply ask, "Is it a good movie?" Naw, it's mildly interesting but in the clinch lets the audience down. It definitely doesn't rate the high stars we see in some of these overly-enthusiastic (bought?) reviews. So I'm expecting to see a lot of thumbs down on my review from the 10-star shine job film affiliates. ; )
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3/10
No character arc for the protagonist, tries to force you to like him with score
megaruda4 May 2018
Downplays it's best character trying to give protagonism to it's main character that is one of the most unreleatable protagonistsI have seen in a film, it worked in Train to Busan because it's main character's flaw was treated seriously unlike Psychokynesis which shows a terrible trait and a terrible person while playing quirky funny music trying to make us like him. The other thing that really bothered me is that the female character was downplayed so bad, it was easily it's best character and also she seemed like the protagonist who's role was stolen to give it to a man, it works in Train to Buscan again... Because the women depicted in that picture were weaker for good reasons, a pregnant woman, a child and a couple of old people. In the film it feels like everyone is trying to force her to like his father in the most convoluted and incredible ways, and when I say incredible I mean I do not believe them and it ruins movie magic.

It is as big of a dissappointment as it's main character, it would of been better if the writers had read the book "Save the Cat" or if the director was Milo's Forman's who's Amadeus is a great example on how to make a terrible person into a great character, in this case it simply doesn't work to anyone who doesn't feel guilty for leaving his wife and kid for 10 years and coming back demanding respect that is actually given to them pretty fast and applauded.

The photography is decent but not anything special, production design is pretty clean and it seems like they had a big budget for this one with all the extras in police costumes. The acting has it's ups and downs the one that shines is the villain that is only seen for a couple of scenes. All in all it is a very underwhelming film considering it comes from South Korea which tends to have close to flawless execution on it's widely distributed films.
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3/10
This movie has great potential, yet it has very disappointing ending
rezafebrianh-283322 December 2018
Stared by qualified actors, this movie successfully provided a thrilling and entertaining story, especially from start, up to near-end. The story also made the audience felt so emotional.

But, seriously the ending is really a disappointing ending. The evil corporate has done some terrible crimes:
  • killing the mom
  • taking over the place by force
  • taking advantage of police force in corruptive way
  • and having the protagonis in jail for 4 years


And the end? Justice didnt show up. The protagonist lost their place, having in jail for 4 years. And the antagonist, didn't even brought to police nor getting hurt in the end. Its just so unfair. But everyone suddenly become happily ever after.

Therefore, at the "ending" stand point, its such like a movie for a weakling. Sorry for harsh wording
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2/10
Too shallow and too silly
stantims212 November 2018
It's for pre-teens, it seems, with the "good" laborers vs. the "evil" corporation and police, in a Greatest American Hero style of slapstick.
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7/10
Sweet and fun
phillip-henry2 July 2019
If you've got some time to kill them this is a nice movie to watch, it's well made and good fun, it's typical fayre with good versus bad, the little guy being pushed around by the big corporation and corrupt cops but I enjoyed it o
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8/10
Funny superhero flick with a dark underbelly and an odd ending
cherold5 May 2019
In Psychokinesis, schlubby security guard Seok-heon drinks some extraterrestrial-tainted water and finds he is able to lift and hurl objects with his mind. When his ex-wife is killed by thugs working on a construction project, Seok-heon uses the powers to help out his estranged daughter, who is threatened by the same thugs.

Much of the appeal of this movie comes from a very funny lead performance by Seung-ryong Ryu, who is a goof who just wants to use his power to start a magic act. The slapsticky comedy is counterbalanced by the character's genuine concern and regret for his life choices.

The other notable performance is Yu-mi Jung as a psychopath mob boss. Quirky and ruthless, she is a bracing contrast with the low-key performances by everyone else.

The movie is an interesting mix of broad comedy and dark social commentary. South Korea is portrayed as a country wholly owned by criminals and a complicit police force (director Sang-ho Yeon showed a similarly dark view of cops in Seoul Station).

Psychokinesis takes an interesting approach to the superhero genre. Early superhumans all become heroes or villains. Later superhumans sometimes took the Misfits approach, in which you just deal with your powers and see no reason for heroics. Seok-heon goes the hero route, but only for one person.

Unfortunately the attempt to avoid standard superhero tropes leads in some unconvincing directions. Seok-heon downplays his ability as just this neat thing he can do, and oddly enough everyone goes along with it. Even though he makes no attempt to hide his identity or his power, it doesn't make him especially famous and the government expresses no interest in him. There are certain tropes that keep appearing simply because it's hard to imagine things unspooling any other way.

Still, I found this movie tremendously enjoyable, and as the previous films I've seen from Yeon, it balances its supernatural aspects with grounded, fleshed out characters you root for. (Now that I've watched his recent supernatural films I have to check out his early animated dramas like The Fake).

Highly recommended.
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10/10
Like a bite of spicy fried chicken...
coatofsolidgold14 February 2019
Okay, it's not really a ten. But it sure ain't (at the moment) a 5.9 either. After sitting through any number of well crafted neo-noire Netflix Euros which crash into utter absurdity in the final reel, this is a breath of fresh air. It's a simple superhero fable, with well worn tropes, but imaginatively presented. The bad guys are horrible, more in their corruption and cynicism than their misdeeds. The good guys are, well actually, they are outlaws as well as victims. The action is vivid and grand yet unique and intimate.It's goofy, it's emotive, i's melodrama done right. And it's obviously got a lot of Korea's concerns on it's sleeves, from the clash of glass towers and ramshackle al fresco dining, corporations building a new Korea or going bankrupt, corruption, justice, resistance, and the seduction of success. A fun, entertaining, and illuminating ride.
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