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'Jung_E' Netflix Review: Stream It or Skip It?

#artificialintelligence

Jung_E (now on Netflix) is the new film from director Yeon Sang-ho, who made a name for himself outside his native Korea with 2016 zombie action movie Train to Busan. As he offered a new angle on a familiar subgenre with Busan, he surely hopes to do the same for artificial intelligence science-fiction (AI-SCI-FI?!?) with his latest work, which is set in a sort-of-post-apocalyptic dystopia where robots fight wars for us, and the side with the best AI sure seems ripe for victory. The movie is also notable for being the final role of Korean film star Kang Soo-yeon, who sadly passed away in 2022 at age 55 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. The Gist: IN A WORLD where severe climate change has forced humanity to mostly abandon Earth for the Moon; where subsequent civil war has raged for decades; where artificial intelligence is a primary component of war technology; where human brains can be uploaded from diseased bodies to new ones and if you have enough money you can enjoy a terrific Type A existence, or a so-so Type B, or possibly a horrific, but no-cost Type C where your consciousness is under the control of corporations and shit; where people take ethics tests to determine that they're indeed human and not AI – in this world, a woman leaps around a bona-fide Dystopian Hell of a set piece, fighting robots, some more diabolically advanced in their ability to withstand bullets and such. She is the famed kickass warrior Yun Jung-yi (Kim Hyun-joo), but she really isn't Yun Jung-yi – she's Jung_E, a clone of Yun Jung-yi, and she keeps failing the same battle simulation. The simulation reinvents the very scene of her defeat many years prior, which left her body in a coma, the contents of her brain as the key element of weapons-development research firm Kronoid and her daughter kind of almost orphaned.