[WARNING: the following review is short, straight to the point, and full of repressed anger. Reader’s discretion is advised]
The recently released Okja has raised the bar for Netflix productions, mostly thanks to the excellent cast and crew that worked on creating a fun and thoughtful movie that is clever and original. The same cannot be said about another Netflix South Korean movie, Lucid Dream.
Lucid Dream is written and directed by Kim Joon-Sung, and it stars Go Soo and Sol Kyung-gu. This directorial debut not only is full of clichés and on-the-nose dialogue, but it is also a poor man’s version of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
Dae-ho, an investigative journalist, seeks to track down the whereabouts of his son who was abducted three years ago. With the help of a detective and a psychiatrist friend, he will retrace his memory of the incident through the use of lucid dreaming techniques. This premise sounds interesting enough, but the execution is oh so dreadful! This is the first South Korean movie that I actively disliked, mostly because of how stupid it thinks its audience is: from the very beginning, you have your dad who looks at his son’s photos on the cellphone, the son who does not know his mother has been dead for some time, the “why aren’t we a normal family?” father-son dialogue, the expert scientist who explains a bullshit procedure with needless details and a lot of rules even though it has been done a few times before… There are so many little details that actively lessen the enjoyment of the film.
The acting is of the lowest common denominator: not good enough to be believable, but not bad enough to be enjoyable. The cinematography is mostly competent, but the yellow palette used in the dream sequences looks really ugly and washed out, feeling more like a hot summer day than a dream. The CGI is hit-and-miss, with some jarringly unpolished shots that rival The Mummy Returns. The action is quite generic, and any attempt at being thrilling or moving falls short.
This is not a horrible movie per se, but it is very unenjoyable, quite boring, it lacks any sort of excitement and originality, and it is incredibly forgettable. Right now it is available on the Italian Netflix, but I would stay way from it even when it reaches other countries. A big disappointment, and the first bad South Korean movie I have seen.
Visual Effects: 7
Violence & Gore: 7.5
Sex & Nudity: 4
Drugs & Profanity: 6
Intensity & Horror: 4