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- The featurette The Story of Natural City
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in a futuristic megacity in the year 2080, it's about a sullen policeman (Yu Ji-tae) who wants to extend the life of his beautiful android dancer Ria (Seo Rin) by finding a new host for her brain-chip. As she's nearing her sell-by date, which requires her complete destruction, this puts him at odds with fellow cop Noma (Yun Chan) and evil android Roy Batty...err...evil uber-android Jeon Doo-hong, who has plans on accessing android headquarters and programming a massive robot uprising. Flying police cars, slow-floating dirigibles with gigantic projection screens, endlessly vertical skyscrapers forming a mountain of technology in a post-war wasteland.
We've seen all this before. And indeed, it all looks amazing here. But what's missing is any depth of character to make the story more convincing. The leading man is a complete cipher whose motivations for prolonging the life of his robot are never explained or explored, and while his robot clearly has functional difficulties with her impending doom, Seo underplays these scenes to a fault, generating neither tension nor sympathy, only indifference about her fate.Read more ›
The reason I liken this to Ghost in the Shell above the others is because they both have the following:
a) Beautiful, absolutely, astoundingly, beautiful visuals
b) A female cyborg character who wonders about the nature of life. (Fortunately, on this note I am pleased to report that Natural City's dialogue is a bit less rigid and more, well, human, than Ghost in the Shell's was.)
c) Nefarious, antagonistic, body-hopping cyborg villains.
Maybe it's because it's live action and not animated, but in general I found the characters to be surprisingly compelling for a cyborg flick. But their development is jarring and their motivations or thoughts are often maddeningly unclear. There's Cyon, the prostitute, who spends the first half of the movie sneering at everyone and the second staring in dull detachment at the ongoing events as they spiral out of control around her.Read more ›
A lot of the best communication between characters is wordless which gives you an idea of the acting quality. The production, fight scenes & storyline are decently done. There's plenty of action, some of it beautifully choreographed. The love story is profound: It makes me wonder why some of the best love lines in cinema have been utterred by androids. I really can't understand why the producers never tried releasing this as a major release in the USA. There is a lot of candy here, & not because it's so bad. This is one movie of hi-fi sci-fi that I can watch from beginning to end without fatigue, as I have already multiple times. That's rare for me. There are visions here that give me the shivers. The villains are Sunday cinema amusing without being silly as well in a pleasureable way.
It's a beautiful story on many levels.
However, all of that said, Natural City is not a rip-off and is an awesome movie in its own right. It has an excellent story line, great acting, incredible visuals, action-packed scenes clearly inspired by The Matrix, and a very worthy Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack. The film has English subtitles; but otherwise, you would not be able to tell it apart from a Hollywood film. On the contrary, Hollywood hasn't produced science fiction on this level for quite some time.
In particular, many months were spent building small-scale models filmed for a lot of the special effects. I still find this technique of using miniatures "realistically superior" to 95% of the computer graphics produced these days.
If you love dark, post-apocalyptic, film noir science fiction then you will love this movie. It's worthy-enough to reside in your DVD collection next to Blade Runner and the Alien trilogy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really disappointed by this. Had to force myself to watch the whole thing since I paid for it. Story was so so and characters were a little shallow.Published 4 months ago by R. Evans
Somebody stole my first copy of this movie. At least they had good taste, I guess. It's a little tiresome in the combat-blood-and-blast department, but aren't they all? Read morePublished 11 months ago by Yukio
This film has a lot going for it and a story going down hill.I have to admit that this film did hit the spot for me great action and wonderful effects make it all work. Read morePublished on January 2, 2014 by Pulpman
Having seen numerous very good South Korean films I decided to give a try to this 2003 science-fiction movie - and I was only partially satisfied. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by Maciej
I watch many Korean films, I really should be a professional at rating these films. I enjoy all the genres of K-movies mostly drama and action or action/thriller and some horror. Read morePublished on September 23, 2013 by rodney
While this is essentially a Korean version of Blade Runner, it's not a remake... an interesting story with some good plot twists and some likeable characters (and some that are... Read morePublished on August 26, 2013 by TigerDen
R is a cop who hunts down renegade cyborgs; these humanlike cyborgs only have 3 years of life and are used for everything from combat to companionship. Read morePublished on April 9, 2013 by Jonathan
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