It is really cool that Netflix is expanding their movie library with international movies as well these days. Being a great fan of Asian cinema, it is very nice to see that a growing number of these movies can now also be found on Netflix. A lot of disaster movies have been made throughout the years, and it is always a moviegenre that I enjoy watching a lot. Not because I like to see disasters happening. Just to make sure you don’t get the wrong idea, mind you. But it usually means that ordinary people are put into situations that let them become heroes. Browsing through the Netflix library I came across this movie that has just been added, and is both an Asian film as well as a disaster movie. Well, this is bound to be winning combination I would say. Let us find out if that is true or if this movie is erm, a disaster.
Jae-Hyeok lives with his mother and some other family members in a small Korean town. Near this town is a nuclear plant, the same plant where his father lost his life as a employee a few years back. He is working there himself now, following in his father’s footsteps, but it being a very old plant, he is very worried about the conditions there. Ofcourse as is so often the case, nobody listens to him. Unfortunately mother nature strikes and an earthquake hits the town and the nuclear plant. It is not long thereafter that Jae-Hyeok finds himself in the middle of a nightmare. A large cloud of radiation has already been released, and there is a further disaster threatening in the form of a nuclear meltdown. With the lives of the entire Korean country hanging in the balance, some daring men must find a way to stop the meltdown. But time is running out, and with everyone who is helping getting more and more exposed to the radiation, certain doom seems almost unavoidable….
Now this movie is ofcourse a very grim reminder of the Fukushima disaster that happened in Japan. When watching this movie, one can certainly imagine how horrid those conditions must have been in 2011. If there is one thing this movie does right, it is in showing how a disaster of this magnitude can cause a panic. I was very impressed by the way the crowds were filmed in this movie, that try to flee from the horrible radiation cloud that is coming down upon them. That said, the entire movie was shot very well, and has a very good mix of special effects and beautiful cinematography.
The acting in this movie was pretty decent. Jae-Hyeok played by actor Kim Nam-gil, is a character that you instantly like, but I do have to say that most of the characters in this film lack depth. There is not much room for character development,which in a movie such as this is pretty important. Especially if you want to care about the people that are going through this horrible event. And ofcourse, this being a disaster movie, it is filled with the usual cliches. We get a government that is not listening despite certain warnings, and try to cover up things along the way. People that make heroic sacrifices, and ofcourse a few (at times overacted) tearful moments. Still, there is very little wrong with this movie. There is certainly enough tension throughout the film to keep you on the edge of your seat. The movie has a pretty good pace, and despite it having a length of over 2 hours long, I was not bored by it for a single moment. If you like disaster movies, you certainly might want to give this one a try.
I give Pandora a 7 out of 10 score.