Aroview: Colossal Korean blockbuster that single-handedly revives the generic monster movie: birthed from a batch of military-grade chemicals disposed in Seoul’s Han River, a giant mutant tadpole emerges from beneath to terrorise the people of South Korea.
Bolstered by spiffy special effects and big bang production values, this is immediately thrilling as a world’s end spectacle, yet transcends the limitations of genre through a dexterous disregard for convention. Dir. Bong, whose MEMORIES OF MURDER subverted the serial killer movie with many interesting flourishes, invigorates his film with a tonal imbalance, leap-frogging between comedy, danger and pathos, all while politicising its content by way of allusions to imperialism and disease hysteria. While constantly surprising us, he also manages to ground the fantasy with the intimacy of a family drama: a nucleus of misfits who form the human heart of the film in their attempts to save their youngest from the jaws of death.