Of Jung_E

Jung_E is a 2023 South Korean science fiction film written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho who shot to global fame over the ground breaking zombie movie Train To Busan. It premiered on Netflix on 20 January 2023 and in its debut a week held top position in Netflix’s most watched Non-English movies.

Jung_E is set in the year 2194, a dystopian Earth where climate change eventually rendered the planet practically unhospitable and humans live in man-made shelters built in space. Amidst all that, whats left of humanity is embroiled in a long running civil war between Allied Force and Adrian Republic.

The movie is centered around trying to build the perfect combat AI that can end the civil war, once and for all….

Mass produced combat AI Jung_E

 The Good

Jung_E is a surprising think piece especially when viewed from the current lens of the AI race. What will the advancements in technology mean for our future? Will we be able to tell the difference between human and a synthetic humanoid? Where will the line be drawn? In the movie people have to take compulsory Ethics Tests to prove they are human (still)

The movie has some interesting world building that projects on a future where immortality is possible through tech but finances will come into effect giving a 3 tier existence. The rich can afford synthetic bodies that have all the rights of a person, middle class have fewer rights and have to consent to sharing brain data with the government for research and then there is the free option which means anyone can acquire rights to your brain.


Jung_E has stunning visuals and interestingly choreographed action-sequences and of course there just has to be a locolocomotive scene, which has a very Train To Busan feel to it – a train speeding amidst chaos and mayhem while estranged kin try to re-connect.

The Bad

The movie is originally in Korean with English subtitles although it has an English Dub. The English Dub and the translated subtitles, with any production in a different language always has aspects of it lost in translation. I read a Korean review that marvelled at one character’s aloofness and witty dialogue scenes, while what I got from the character came across as silly and tacky. I suppose that’s the nuances of language.

From all of this, one would kind of expect Jung_E to be a more action-packed film – but instead for the most part, the world building is told rather than shown. You are told there is a civil war and the closest you get to the action is via the simulations of the combat AI being created.

combat AI

While the action scenes are cool they are awkwardly spaced, a gripping first act and then the movie becomes less a science fiction movie and more of a dystopian mother daughter drama, then more action packed towards the final act.

The Ugly

First of all, it cuts for a bleak future, especially if you cannot afford expensive upgrade options. When you mirror a society’s truth its always ugly…

The movie is not conclusive and does not offer any sort of answers – Jung_E has many brilliant ideas thrown together but they are not fully seeing through, resulting in a movie that feels more like the pilot episode of a TV series or maybe the first of movie franchise….

Final Thoughts

Its hard to recommend, it’s an OK movie but not extraordinary, something to watch without expectations, lets say over a weekend when you just say surprise me and that’s what comes up.

The movie pays homage to  Kang Soo-yeon who stars as Yun Seo-hyun., and passed away May 2022 having completed filming of Jung_E in January 2022. The movie was suppose to launch Kang Soo-yeon’s acting after a 9 year hiatus from the screens.

in memory of Kang Soo-yeon 1966 - 2022


    1. You know what, I dont think its a movie you actively look for…. its the sort that you should kinda just run into when you dont have any other plans


  1. I actively disliked Busan (everyone was so passive) and suspect I’d feel the same about this one.
    And I’ve been immersed I SFF and anime long enough that I’ve seen all the answers movie people have to offer on this subject.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tough crowd Mr B 🤣
    Good thing is 200 years from now this won’t be our problem… Unless OMG what if they reanimate us using the material we post on our blogs as our consciousness.



  3. Is there any reference to the jungle? When I first saw the title, that’s what I thought of. I realize now that it’s Asian, but I like to hope that there is some sort of a double meaning in the title?!


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