USA, South Korea
Drama, Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
IMDB rating:
Joon-ho Bong
Giancarlo Esposito as Frank Dawson
Jaein Kim as Young Mija
Sheena Kamal as Stylist 2007 / 2017
Michael Mitton as Make-up Artist 2007
Nancy Amelia Bell as Elderly Reporter (as Nancy Bell)
Colm Hill as Sarcastic British Reporter
Jose Carias as Señor Villacorta
Je-mun Yun as Mundo Park (as Yoon Je Moon)
Seo-Hyeon Ahn as Mija (as An Seo Hyun)
Hie-bong Byeon as Hee Bong (as Byun Heebong)
Kathryn Kirkpatrick as Epicurean Reporter
Tilda Swinton as Lucy Mirando / Nancy Mirando
Shirley Henderson as Jennifer
Jake Gyllenhaal as Johnny Wilcox
Storyline: For 10 idyllic years, young Mija (An Seo Hyun) has been caretaker and constant companion to Okja-a massive animal and an even bigger friend-at her home in the mountains of South Korea. But that changes when a family-owned multinational conglomerate Mirando Corporation takes Okja for themselves and transports her to New York, where image obsessed and self-promoting CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) has big plans for Mija's dearest friend. With no particular plan but single-minded in intent, Mija sets out on a rescue mission, but her already daunting journey quickly becomes more complicated when she crosses paths with disparate groups of capitalists, demonstrators and consumers, each battling to control the fate of Okja...while all Mija wants to do is bring her friend home. Deftly blending genres, humor, poignancy and drama, Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) begins with the gentlest of premises-the bond between man and animal-and ultimately creates a distinct and layered vision of the...
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Uneven, but ambitious and moving
"Snowpiercer" is one of my favorite films of the past five years or so, so when I saw that Bong Joon Ho's latest was available on Netflix, I pounced on it. This film is the most family-friendly of his that I've seen so far (probably even more so than "The Host"), and it's also his sweetest.

The plot: In an effort to combat the impending food shortage brought on by overpopulation, the sinister Mirando Corporation (let by the always-welcome Tilda Swinton) genetically engineers a race of superpigs who require few resources to raise, then ships 26 of them out to farms all over the world as part of a contest to see who can raise the healthiest one. Ten years later, little Mija (Seo-Hyeon Ahn), who has grown up with the eponymously-named superpig as a pet and perhaps even friend, learns from her grandfather that they have to send it back to America to be slaughtered. She decides to do something about it.

"Okja" mixes lowbrow humor, chase scenes, social commentary, and a few elements of outright horror. It's not entirely successful. Some side characters and subplots seem half-baked, but the film deserves immense credit for sidestepping many of the clichés and pitfalls that plague films that deal with young protagonists having adventures and teaching adults lessons in the process. Along the way, Mija meets the Animal Liberation Front, a well-meaning but naive animal rights organization who both helps and hinders her along the way. Their leader is played by Paul Dano, another actor I've enjoyed in just about everything I've ever seen him in.

This film is not entirely happy, nor is it entirely cynical. It's about as hopeful as it can be in telling the story of one girl and a couple of do-gooders who try to take down a gigantic corporation. I recommend this film to anyone who is looking for something different. It definitely isn't perfect, but it will stick with you. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned Jake Gyllenhaal as a manic zoologist/nature show host. He's pretty funny, too.
Overrated, weird, predictable yet random, but nonetheless Korean.
The main plot does have potential, but when you realize what the message of the movie is 20 minutes in, the writers have done something terribly wrong. Add that with constant horrible plot flaws, and you have a very pretentious movie. What makes me give this movie 3 stars instead of 1 star, is the fact that this is directed and written by Joon-ho Bong who is from South Korea. It is obvious that the movie is very different from a western world movie, but the standards of Korean movies apparently just don't make up for western standards. You could make this into an anime, and it would've been perfectly fine, but in the form of a Hollywood movie, it just doesn't work.

Bad: -Some things in the movie straight up make no sense, and it feels like it's written by someone with short term memory at times. Example: Okja getting mated by a male "super pig" to get babies to produce more meat, but is after taken to a slaughterhouse.

-The confusing character "developments". Example: The character Paul Dano is playing is at a point completely beating up one of his friends/co-workers for a mistake. You are led to believe he will develop into an evil character, but in the rest of the movie he helps Mija in the kindest ways. Every character in the movie seem to change personality in every scene they're in, except Mija.

-The obvious goofs placed solely to make simple people laugh. You choose to make a movie about a very serious topic, because you want a message out. When you then add small (or big) things that almost break the 4th wall, simply to make people laugh, you can't expect ANYONE to take this movie seriously. Example: After the chaotic chase of Okja, the Korean guy who has to take care of Okja (they guy who actually seemed nice to Mija in the start) takes a selfie with Okja. It has no purpose, no addition other than it will make 'some' laugh.

-Somewhat followed by the last point, the chase of Okja by the police is too chaotic. The circus music implies it's supposed to be funny, but 5 minutes earlier you felt for Mija for losing her beloved Okja. It mixes emotions so horribly, but again, I'm not sure if this just is this culture's way of directing.

-The CGI of Okja is alright and not great. In the start it seems pretty good, but later in the movie you always notice something "off" in every scene with Okja.

Good: The acting is pretty good from the recognizable actors. Hide the fact that the character development is horrible (which isn't the actors' fault), and you will see some nice acting. Some of the actors act very "extreme" which I believe is the Korean/Asian way of directing the characters. I've seen a lot of people bash on Jake Gyllenhaal for being too obnoxious for acting this way, but Tilda is exactly the same, and at least it's what is seen as "normal" in the Asian anime type of culture.

Conclusion: Lots of things are wrong with this movie. It's mainly the plot and script that doesn't make sense, and many times it feels like the story doesn't progress, but resets and then starts somewhere else, which makes it annoying to watch.

I personally did not enjoy watching this movie, and I wrote this review because I didn't like how this movie actually is being praised by critics, and how Netflix gave a budget of 50 million dollars to this team, who decided to use it all on good actors and ignoring the script ENTIRELY.

Great idea spoiled by stupid scenario
This movie had great potential. Charming, fantastic non-existing in our world farm animal as a main character and a fight for the rights of this animal is a great idea. Serious topic could be shown through the story of a friendship of an animal with a human being. Unfortunately the scenario has so many goofs and stupid moments that it spoils all the fun from watching. Maybe if you are 10 years old this movie will be entertaining for you, but if you are older you will be disappointed.
Terrible miscalculation
A hodgepodge of talent wasted in such pointless ways that one can only marvel what pitch got the money to make this unfunny, overly long, boring manifest against GMO foods. Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal are totally unhinged which might be funny for small kids but this is not a kids' movie as it resorts to brutal violence several times.

Things are not made any better by the titular pig's teenage patron who (for unclear reasons) is played by a one-note Korean child actor with such monotonic obsession that her friendship with the pig only looks worrying.

If something positive is to be said about this misfire then it is that the pig is well animated and integrates with its surroundings seamlessly, but its design has no personality and cannot sustain sufficient feelings to care about its fate.
A bit confused, but a powerful message
Okja is a Netflix original movie about a Korean girl with this super-pig named Okja that she doesn't know is only kept alive for slaughter. When she does find that out, she will do anything to bring her friend back.

The central message really is powerful and at times very well and brutally realistic brought to screen. It's just that sometimes it seems to get confused about what it's trying to say. Certain moments, at least. For example, one scene it shows that this one nice character could be another bad guy, but then it's just glossed over and the movie could have done very well without that, nothing would change. And it's a bit tonally confused as well. You've got a little bit of everything here. Sometimes it feels like a touching family film, sometimes like a deep and really serious (brutal, at times) allegory and sometimes it's just bonkers. It can get so over the top that it really gets annoying. Especially when it comes the characters. Maybe it was intentional, but even if it was, it fell flat because we have this really dark and serious scene that snaps us into reality, but in that same scene there is this really silly over-the-top characters that feels like he walked into a wrong movie, and it just doesn't fit well together.

But aside from that, I found everything to work great. The story is moving, powerful and very metaphoric (and I love those when cleverly used in movies). The actors all did a fine job, some were extreme, but I guess that's what the director wanted from them. It also looks good, the pacing works and finally I didn't have the same problem that I had with a lot of Netflix original movies. The story finally felt complete. Even too much at times, but that's at least better than a wasted potential.

Overall, even though it's a bit tonally confused, it's an emotional eye-opening roller coaster. Definitely worth a watch.
I wanted more...
When I saw the trailer of this movie, I thought it will be something that will change my vision about meat, that will blow my mind, sadly it wasn't what I expected.

It did not make me cry, and I'm a person who usually gets sad or cry at the emotional film scenes. After an hour from the beginning of watching the movie, I guessed what was about to happen, because is cliché.

All I loved about the movie is the beautiful Okja, and the passion to protect her.

There should has been more explicative scenes about the business, about the companies. I think it's not emotional enough, and I don't think after seeing this movie a lot of people will get vegan.

After all this is supposed to be a movie who motivates you to be vegan ? Because I don't think so, the girl eaten a fish, and in front of her home, there was some chickens and shells that she will probably eat.

Oh the end... she was at home, all alright, Okja and the little one were safe, but what about the rest of transformed pigs ? I expected a scene were people are protesting against the company, were the FLA is fighting.
This film will change you
Okja is the beauty and horror of this world today. The images will stay with me of our relationships with animals and how we treat them and shut our minds off to the cruelty they receive to meet consumer demands. Now the idea of eating meat is abhorrent to me. Watch this film and wake up!
Waste of time
Really nothing to say about this movie. almost useless... cheap Hollywood with a sense of a (fake) S.Korea mixed with Balkan soundtracks...so shame to read so biased positive comments for this movie. People must be paid to write good reviews for such movies. or they suffer severe brain damage. cannot explain otherwise.
Intelligent film with a message
You quickly grow to love Okja and the girl Mija, but then suddenly the story takes off at full speed. The film, while 2 hours long, doesn't waste any time and moves from scene to scene at a brisk pace.

The movie itself is entertaining, and viewer walks away with a new understanding of the pain and suffering animals go through to bring meat to the table.

This movie was a life changing lesson for me - it gets 10 stars
Won't radically alter one's perspective but it is good fun
I really wanted this film to be more than a "slaughterhouses are bad and animals are special movie" but it adds nothing to any of the feelings or thoughts already expressed on the matter. Don't get me wrong, it's an important message and it's well presented here, but it's done in a mostly darkly cartoonish way that won't radically alter one's perspective. But it is good fun.

The movie wants you to care about all the pigs but really it's just Okja that matters. Not to mention it seems to chicken out after it begins to give a conscience to the food factory. As great as saving beautiful animals is, the whole idea behind these pigs is to eliminate world hunger, so like, what does the movie have to say about that moral conundrum? Eh, not much. Okja cute and the girl is too (though she's so one-dimensionally obsessed with Okja she's hard to really care about).
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