Friday, September 29

Series on Netflix | Criticism of ‘The Black Knight’: a dystopia halfway between ‘Mad Max’ and ‘The Hunger Games’


‘The Black Knight’, the new Korean action and science-fiction series released on Netflix, is not the sum of entertainment, but it gives a thousand turns to ‘Citadel’, the bet on the same wave of the competition, Amazon Prime Video , who has thrown the house out of the window to offer the viewer the same as always without grace or any hint of ingenuity. The release in question also wanders through common places of the genre, but it does not seem to be written by an artificial intelligence, unlike the extremely expensive production of the second platform with the most hours of viewings on the planet, devoured by the sensation of déjà vu.

Set in the future, in the year 2071, it presents a dystopia that, from the outset, may already sound like something to us. In a post-apocalyptic atmosphere, after the impact of a gigantic meteorite, a derisory percentage of human beings survive, with great difficulty, breathing the unbreathable. An environmental catastrophe wiped out almost the entire planet. A toxic cloud prevents the lungs of the population from going to full capacity. Going out without wearing a good gas mask is risking your skin. This terrible drama has given rise to the establishment of various social classes. There is a privileged society that lives in a dome where the air is clean thanks to a gigantic turbine. Meanwhile, the refugees settled in the surroundings subsist as they can in their day to day. Dealers, also known as knights, move into this tragic situation, individuals prepared to face any adversity with their fists or pulling the trigger. In their armored trucks they are dedicated to distributing oxygen and food, in addition to distributing tow among the hunters who sow panic on the dusty roads, motorized types with bad tempers who act like pirates.

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It is not difficult to intuit that there is something of ‘Mad Max’ in ‘The Black Knight’, which also embraces ‘The Hunger Games’, with a tournament included. The stoic protagonist handles himself like nobody else on wheels and also in the action scenes, well choreographed, as can be expected in a proposal of these characteristics. Starting from the sci-fi base, the series moves between drama, adventure and thriller, with some above average fighting sequences and exchange of gunfire.

A protagonist who hides secrets

Choi Ui-seok (‘Cold Eyes’) directs and signs the script for six closed chapters that precipitate its conclusion. The plot arc has a beginning and an end, after striking cliffhangers at the end of each episode. It can be understood as a miniseries, an unusual format in audiovisuals with the Korean label, more accustomed to offering seasons of more than ten installments, with durations similar to those of a movie. It is appreciated to be able to see the history of the pull, without fear of tedium. Kim Woo-bin, seen in ‘Alienoid’, embodies 5-8, the leading dealer, a true legend in his trade. We will soon discover that he hides more than one secret and is faithful to his roots and iron principles. The Cheonmyeong organization pulls the strings in this dystopian world where inequality reigns and the elite ignore the expelled. The conflict is served.

The pilot chapter more than presents the context in which the characters move, with the detail of the masks, an element that invites us to find parallels with our current civilization. ‘The Black Knight’ does not have the ability to attract attention and hook the audience like ‘The Squid Game’, it does not innovate in its form and its background consists of a jumble of well-cooked references, but it becomes good entertainment, well narrated and wrapped. The series begins with more force than it shows in its denouement, where it suddenly accelerates and surrenders to ellipses, as if there were an ax blow being staged. The figure of the dealer is a good claim. He enjoys an undoubted charisma in the midst of the tragic situation. Some have related the premise of the project to ‘Death Stranding’, Hideo Kojima’s post-apocalyptic video game, where there is also a subject who acts as a messenger in the face of adversity. The sphere of ideas, everything is invented, the way of telling it changes. And to devour it.


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