|Oil rig bonding|
Clearly it was the intent of Yoon Je-kyoon (producer/writer) and Kim Ji-hoon (director) to copy every similar film that had met with a lot of success in the hope that their synthetic product would also be a big hit. Ha Ji-won is basically an Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s iconic character in the Alien franchsie) stand-in, the oil rig is from Armageddon (1998), a major character’s death and resurrection is lifted from the first Lord of the Rings, the genesis of the monster is not dissimilar to Korea’s own The Host (2006), and the list goes on.
|Ha Ji-won, tough as nails... apparently|
Unlike Yoon’s previous blockbuster, the tsunami-themed Haeundae (2009), Sector 7 spares little time for scene-setting and character development. A brief underwater intro features a pair of oil drillers setting in place a pipe. A couple of little glowing creatures swim around them, suddenly they attack and one of the men falls to his death. Fast forward to the present where we are directly introduced to the hardy (but strangely Spartan) crew of an oil rig. They are battling with a malfunctioning pipe and being doused in brute petroleum, no doubt reinforcing the intrinsic bond between them. Cha Hae-joon (Ha Ji-won) is pretty but tough as nails and shows grit alongside the men. A couple of scenes explore the relationships between the rig’s crewmen (and woman), which is to say that nothing happens. One of those glowing creatures is found and then Anh Suh-kee (Hae-joon’s mentor) comes aboard to aid the exploration of the new underwater oil fields. Of course he knows more than he lets on and blah blah blah blah blah…
|The first of many oil rig bike scenes|
More than anything else, and there’s a lot, two things bothered me the most about Sector 7. One is the incomprehensibly bad rear-projection technique used in the bike sequences, of which there are four… on an oil rig. The quality is what you would expect from the 30s or 40s not 2011, worse still is watching Ha Ji-won madly rev the bike and swoop down to her left and right sides, she actually looks like a little 6-year-old boy pretending to ride in a Grand Prix. Yoon, who also produced this summer’s Quick, seems to have a bike fetish.
|Sacrifice: LOTR style|
If you decide to get on board Sector 7, here’s what you can expect: wild lapses in logic, rampant misogyny, numerous laughably atrocious rear-projection motorcycle sequences, complete disregard for the natural laws of physiques, risible dialogue and matching delivery, an ugly monster that is never hidden from view, and perpetual references to superior films that it could never hope to match. Your choice…
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