PSYCHOKINESIS (염력) (NETFLIX) (2018)
SYNOPSIS: Suddenly possessed with supernatural powers, a father sets out to help his estranged daughter who's at risk of losing everything she's lived for.
If Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 is not enough to satisfy your crave for superhero antics this weekend, fret not, Netflix have you cover. Just check out Psychokinesis which comes from Yeon Sang-ho, the director behind the hit zombie flick, Train to Busan. While it’s touted as a superhero movie, it’s actually a touching tale of reconciliation between a pair of estranged father and daughter at its core.
Due to a loan gone wrong a decade ago, the aimless Seok-heon (Ryu Seung-ryong from Miracle in Cell No.7) left his young daughter, Roo-mi and his wife and the pair is left on their own to operate a small food stall for a livelihood. Though her fried chicken business seems brisk, the now grown-up Roo-mi (Shim Eun-kyung last seen in The Princess and the Matchmaker) is facing another set of problem, the land where their stall sits upon is being ruthlessly acquired by a landlord for redevelopment and they are being harassed by hooligans to move out without any foreseeable compensation.
In comes Seok-heon, the absence father who suddenly possessed unexplained psychokinetic power via a sip of mountain water. With his ability to fight back every single opponent that comes Roo-mi’s way, Seok-heon finally has the chance to reconnect with Roo-mi. Will Seok-heon and Roo-mi live happily after?
Like his Train to Busan, Psychokinesis is yet another potent mix of social messages hidden in an easily accessible story of corporate greed and superhero on the surface. Does being super rich allows you to control and manoeuver both the police and the thugs? What happen to the poor and earnest people who are mainly trying to earn a living? Yeon Sang-ho seems to be hinting on the dire situation of his motherland perhaps that’s where the Samsung bribery case comes to mind. Yeon even include a ruthless, psychotic corporate character named Director Hong (played convincingly by Jung Yu-mi) for good measure.
But if you were to brush aside all the innuendos, Psychokinesis is still jam-packed with comedy and almost flawless CGI action. For instance, when Seok-heon decides to apply a job at the nightclub to perform magic with his newfound power and convincing his frustrated daughter that he has the ability to help her and the rousing finale which sees Seok-heon flying above the sky like Man of Steel or in this case, Hancock to save his daughter from the clutches of the riot police.
While the basic premise of Psychokinesis is nothing new (remember Push and Chronicle?), it’s the obvious talent of Yeon Sang-ho that manages yet again to reinvent a familiar genre into something vigorous. All in all, it’s certainly watchable even on the small screen which to be fair it’s rather unjust consider the awesome production values on display.
Review by Linus Tee