Okja review: Everyone overacts except the superpig

“A young girl named Mija risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend — a massive superpig named Okja.”


Possibly my expectations were too high for this, this movie was a mess. A mess of messaging, a mess of acting, a mess of storyline.

There are half a dozen movies crammed into two hours and it doesn’t know which one it wants to be, there’s a Spielbergian movie hiding in there somewhere with Mija and Okja, there’s some James Bond when 14 year old Mija morphs into an action-heroine – jumping onto trucks and whatever, and some chunk of corporate satire about meat and big business.

Everyone overacts in this thing, particularly Jake Gyllenhall and Tilda Swinton,  it’s like they were in different movies. Perhaps Jake just wanted to let loose from the constraints of ‘serious’ acting because I can’t explain his performance at all, other than to say I’m sure his high-pitched, free-wheeling role was an imitation of something, I just don’t know what.

There’s also some really bizarre side-plotting involving Tilda’s character and her twin Nancy, which could have been cut and not made a whit of difference to the development of anything.

The crux of this movie is that the audience should feel an investment between Okja and Mija’s relationship. Okja wants to save Mija’s life and Mija wants to save Okja’s life. My heart must be made of stone, because I felt nothing. If you feel more for the innocent bystanders being clonked over the head by the police, then there’s a fundamental disconnect happening. News.com.au would like to explain to you that there’s a possibility I’m a sociopath.

If I were to pick a positive point, the action was nicely done, as it is in all of Bong Joon Ho’s movies. If you want to see a superpig roll through a Daiso and destroy everything, this may be the movie for you.

But I can’t find it in my heart to recommend this movie to anyone, who would I sell this to? Not kids. Animal lovers maybe? Paul Dano fans?


Trailer thoughts: Okja

I am a Snowpiercer evangelist, I will sing the praises of that movie to whoever listens, so I am insanely excited for Bong Joon Ho’s new movie. What a killer cast.

That being said, Okja (the animal, not the movie) is probably going to go out in a bad way and none of it is going to go well because where are you going to hide a 400kg animal if a corporation really wants it? I wouldn’t get too attached to Okja in the meantime.