A Modern Day Blade Runner, one review calls it. Sadly, it’s nowhere near the brilliance of Blade Runner. Natural City is a visually stunning movie, with tons of great special effects shots, but that’s about it. The movie takes place in 2080 in cyberpunk like future, replete with flying cars, holographic advertisements, cyborgs, and various nifty gadgets, all of which coexist with the sorts of ordinary things that you might expect to find in a large Asian city today.
Unfortunately, beyond the visuals, there isn’t much to the movie. The plot is both slightly boring and difficult to follow, and the story is devoid of any emotion. R, played by Ji-tae Yu, is an MP, a special forces type cop, that’s in love with a cyborg that’s set to expire in three days time. He’s so in love with her that he’s willing to do anything to make sure she can survive past her expiration date, even if that means breaking the law and profiting from it. We learn that he needs the money to pay for a procedure that will allow his cyborg girlfriend Ria, played by Rin Seo, to transfer her consciousness into a human body. Allowing her to live far longer than she ever would have.
Dr. Giro, a mad scientist who has agreed to do the procedure for R tells him that he has to find a human whose DNA will match Ria’s and he’s found her. A young woman who lives in the ghetto and goes by the name of Cyon. R sets out to find her so that he can have Dr. Giro transfer Ria’s mind to hers. Hey, nobody said R was a hero.
Unlike the movie, I don’t want to bore you with more mundane details that don’t lend to advanced the plot anymore so I won’t. I will say this though. Things don’t go right, when do they, and a lot of shooting happens and R has a change of heart and realizes that Ria’s time has come and gone. So he saves the girl he was trying to kidnap to wipe her brain and in the process saves humanity from the cyborg’s overtaking the population.
Having said that, if you’re fan of cyberpunk stories, sci fi, or visually stunning movies than you’ll probably want to catch this movie. If you’re looking for a good story to accompany that then don’t bother. It’s one of those rare films that I’d recommend solely on the visuals and atmosphere.