At what point does the price of life become worth the cost of living?
The ethics of what life is worth are at the forefront here with Seobok and while it borrows liberally from a myriad of science-fiction and comic books that came before it, there’s no denying it’s an exceptionally well executed affair.
Min Ki-hun (Gong Yoo) is a former secret service agent struggling with a brain tumor. Chief Ahn (Jo Woo-jin) asks him to return to duty for a mission of the utmost importance: protecting Seobok (Park Bo-gum), the first human clone.
They tell Ki-hun that Seobok is immortal, with stem cells that could rid him of his cancer. However, side effects of the experiment have given this specimen fabulous powers. However, having a possible remedy for death itself hasn’t gone unnoticed by various nefarious organizations and following an ambush during a transfer, Seobok and Ki-hun for the first time find themselves together but on the run. However, time is short as Seobok struggles in the outside world with his powers become increasingly uncontrollable.
From co-writer/director Lee Yong-ju, Seobok has a rich flow to it that straddles the line between action/thriller and high concept science fiction rather easily. The moral issues here in the narrative are fresh and vibrant and are never giving us anything for any lazy narrative reasons.
The chemistry between actors Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum is what really sells it all though as we start off with the awkward fish out of water dynamic between the two until Seobok through all the events of the movie learns the true meaning of being human.
Seobok gives enough of a glimpse at humanity while sprinkling in some action to make for a very relevant piece of sci-fi cinema in the vein of something like Ex-Machina.
Seobok is available to rent via the online screening platform for the festival.