In most movies that are set in foreign places or universes, characters often speak one language, and that is the language in which the movie’s main characters speak. If there are characters with different nationalities, then they’ll speak with an accent. This is more prominent in space flicks. Because most of them are made in Hollywood, we almost think that the default is English.
But this is where Space Sweepers, a Korean space blockbuster, moves away from the default. Instead of having its supporting characters speak in Korean, the movie lets them speak their own language. And they do so in a way that feels natural because, in this universe, people wear a device that allows them to translate and communicate in the language of their choice.
Their decision to do so is almost groundbreaking even though the concept is simple and it simply takes away from real life. In real life, we do speak different languages, but there’s a language barrier that can only be alleviated if you learn multiple languages or use Google translate. Space Sweepers takes advantage of its futuristic setting and concocts a device that allows its characters to understand each other. The result is an ensemble of diverse characters that confidently speak their own language without the worry of not being understood.
A Filipino even makes an appearance! He even gets to communicate with Song Joong-ki when he asks him and his group if they’re gonna order something.
The Filipino line may be short – “O-order ba kayo? Kung hindi na naman, umalis na kayo!” – but Filipinos were pleased to see it.
If you want to see more of the diverse cast of characters, you can watch Space Sweepers on Netflix. It follows the crew members of the spaceship called Victory as they find a 7-year old girl who is wanted for being a robot-slash-bomb. It’s considered Korea’s first space blockbuster and is a game-changer for Korean cinema.