Film: Psychokinesis

The brainchild of Korean writer-director Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan), Psychokinesis (2018) is a slight but entertaining entry in the superhero genre, blending chaotic action with humor and heart. In Seoul, Roo-mi (Shim Eun-kyung) runs a popular fried chicken shop—until a powerful construction company buys up the neighborhood and labors to run her out. When an army of minions kills Roo-mi’s mother while trying to roust her from the store, Roo-mi’s estranged father—low-rent security guard Seok-heon (Ryu Seung-ryong)—re-enters the picture. His initial attempts to reconnect with Roo-mi are rebuffed, but when Seok-heon learns that he has been mysteriously imbued with telekinetic powers, he suddenly becomes a secret weapon in Roo-mi’s neighborhood for fighting off the gentrifying forces of the developers.

Psychokinesis is a fun film with amusing, clever special effects and likable performances. Alas, it’s not a particularly deep film, lacking Train to Busan’s more sophisticated social subtexts; there’s just not much to it. But it’s energetic and visually engaging, an unconventional superhero origin story.

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