“40 years ago, a comet collided with the Earth. Almost all continents were submerged. And the Korean peninsula has become a desert. Only one percent of the population survived. The survivors needed inventions and a new order.”
A voiceover says those lines in the first few scenes of The Black Knight, the new Korean series that can be seen on Netflix.
The events – not at all encouraging, by the way – that the Asian production tells take place in the year 2071. In this post-apocalyptic environment, people rarely leave their homes. When forced to do so, she has to wear gas masks, due to the heavy air pollution.
Man’s permanence on the planet depends on the work of a group of messengers. But it’s not about the legion of workers who criss-cross our cities bringing food to those who don’t want to cook at home. They are subjects that bring basic goods and oxygen, which makes them essential for the survival of human beings.
Also, the elite group has to fight against evildoers who they want to take possession of all the tubes with oxygenthe most precious asset.
The first thing that catches the eye after a few minutes of observation The Black Knight it is photography; the colors, which have shades of yellow, try to tell a world as dystopian as full of dust.
That landscape will remain virtually unchanged throughout the episodes. It is sometimes paired with some comics because the series is based on a webtoona comic published digitally.
Aside from that first screenshot, apart from that color palette that is as effective as it is atmospheric, the series is not precisely characterized by its originality. For example, the allegory of class struggle – in this case between the caste with QR codes tattooed on their hands and the marginalized living on the margins – is a classic of classics in dystopian productions.
The same goes for the delivery guy named 5-8, starring Kim Woo-bin. The famous actor and model plays a superhero correctly that has no crack, with extraordinary fighting skills in a production where pineapples and bullets abound.
In that dystopian and hopeless world, The Black Knight is a sci-fi action k-drama that feels its way through. Sometimes things happen without much explanation and everything slows down, even when he tries to tell other stories, like the young refugee who aspires to be a courier like 5-8.
Nor is it a thorough essay on inequality in a torn world, as the French series then proposed. Collapse.
The world can be brutal and horizonless. Nobody is scared of it. But what few viewers forgive, least of all in these inpatient times, is boredom. And the messenger, save for a few amusing passages and attractive images, is a flat subject who wanders around in a monotonous series.
Type: Science fiction.
protagonists: Kim Woo-bin, Song Seung-heon and Kang You-seok.
Creator: Ui Seok Cho.
Duration: Six 40-minute episodes.
Charles Hurd is an entertainment journalist for News Rebeat. He brings a fresh and engaging voice to the world of pop culture, covering the latest developments in film, television, music, and more.