I’ve seen science fiction films with a similar premise, action films with similar set-ups, and South Korean films with similar themes. In other words, there is little original about Seobok: Project Clone, but with genre films that is not always a bad thing. Seobok delivers on the sci-fi premise, spectacle-filled action sequences, and a character-driven narrative balanced between themes of revenge and redemption. While it may resemble other movies I have seen before, that did not prevent me from enjoying Seobok.
When special agent Gi-heon (Gong Yoo) is brought in on a special mission, it provides him with the chance to combat a life-threatening illness. If he can safely escort the world’s first human clone, the scientists responsible agree to give him an experimental treatment which could save his life. Gi-heon doesn’t anticipate how much he will be impacted by the clone named Seo Bok (Park Bo-gum), who he grows closer to during the mission, despite many treating him as nothing more than a test subject.
On the journey to transport Seo Bok, they are attacked by mercenaries hired to intercept the valuable asset. With both government agencies and hired soldiers hunting them down, Gi-heon must protect Seo Bok in order to save himself. Although the initial relationship between the two is based on mutual dependency, a friendship forms during their journey. It is a wonderful blend of road trip, buddy action, and fish-out-of-water narratives.
Seo Bok is unfamiliar with the way the world works and must rely on Gi-heon to show him the way after an attack leaves them on their own. On the other hand, when they face obstacles too great for the trained special agent, Seo Bok proves more than capable of protecting himself. The cloning experiment inexplicably resulted in Seo Bok developing the ability to control matter around him, essentially making him a telekinetic fighter. This allows for the addition of themes often seen in superhero narratives and giving another layer of familiar content to the film.
Like many South Korean action films, there is an emotional core to the narrative of Seobok. At the same time, there is plenty of effects-driven spectacle, which may be reason enough to watch the film on high-definition Blu-ray. Unfortunately, with no special features beyond trailers, there is little reason beyond this for the Blu-ray.
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 5.5/10
Special Features: 1/10