Space Sweepers Film Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

“Space Sweepers” / Space Sweepers

Genre fiction
Directed by Cho Sung Hee
Starring Song Joong Ki (Tae Ho), Kim Tae Ri (Captain Chan), Jin Sung Kyu (Tiger Park), Yoo Hae Jin (Babs), Richard Armitage (James Sullivan) and others.
Bidangil Pictures Studios, Netflix
Release year 2021
Site IMDb

2092, the Earth became almost uninhabitable. Mankind, led by the UTS mega-corporation, is exploring near-Earth space and is engaged in terraforming Mars, but only a select few have a chance to get into space. Who said Elysium?! The main characters of the Space Sweepers are the team of the space debris hunter Pobeda, a group of losers who somehow miraculously got into space and hide their past. By the way, the original Korean title of the movie literally translates to “Spaceship Victory” and not “Space Cleaners” or “Space Cleaners” at all.

The Pobeda team (no, Captain Vrungel has nothing to do with it, although the logic by which the ship was named is exactly the same as in the book by Andrei Nekrasov) is a very colorful and unusual bunch. Although the characters of Space Sweepers characters turned out to be sketchy, the heroes cannot be denied charisma.


The pilot Tae Ho is literally obsessed with money, although he is desperately unlucky with earnings. Money is needed by a certain date, and time is almost running out. Captain Chan is rumored to be a former pirate, she drinks a lot, but is clearly smarter than she shows to others. She also has a goal that she is not going to share with her colleagues. Mechanic Tiger Pak says nothing about his past, but does not part with a strong titanium ax that can cut anything. But the brightest member of the team is undoubtedly the reprogrammed military robot, now the harpooner of the Victory, Babs. He is the only one who knows how to save money and he also has a goal … What – you will find out at the end of the film.


It would seem that the members of the Pobeda team have little in common, and all that unites them is the love of money. But a little robot girl accidentally got on board, who is looking for the entire solar system, will turn them not just into a team, but into a real family. Well, along the way they will also have to save the Earth, without this in any way.

Space Sweepers has a fairly simple plot, calculated almost from the very beginning, moreover, the film looks like several other popular space films at once, more precisely, TV shows – the same Firefly and Cowboy Bebop, for example. A ship of losers, an important person that the crew members are forced to take care of almost against their will … does it remind you of anything? Yes, there are no space flights and individual stories in each series, but judging by the timing, Space Sweepers would be quite comfortable in a serial format.


However, Cho Sung Hee conceived exactly the film, and in a Hollywood manner. And this despite the fact that Space Sweepers received a budget of only $ 21 million, small even by Asian standards. The same Chinese science fiction blockbuster The Wandering Earth cost the creators twice as much, $ 50 million. It is worth paying tribute to the studio responsible for the production of Bidangil Pictures, she was able to manage the funds very well, and in terms of visual effects, Space Sweepers, for example, will give odds to the named slightly higher than the Chinese film. Yes, perhaps the shootouts and chases are shot here not as inventively as in some American blockbuster, but the design of the equipment and the environment is very good. Of course, using a hand-held harpoon to catch debris and jumping between fighters of pursuers, as well as firing a hand-held rifle from the rear platform of a ship flying at great speed is one hundred percent stupidity, but it looks spectacular and in the spirit of some space manga, from which the authors seem to , learned a lot of interesting things.


Space Sweepers are full of problems. This is too textbook and not very convincing villain; numerous failures in logic; obviously overestimated timing; replay, traditional for Korean films and series; an abundance of not-so-high-quality humor. Nevertheless, it looks surprisingly good, and now, when most blockbusters have once again been postponed (for the time being to autumn, but we all understand that this is far from the end), such simple and bright films are very lacking. Yes, it’s not a big screen with surround sound and optional 3D, but at least that’s it. So, despite the low rating and a lot of minuses, we recommend Space Sweepers for viewing.

PS Actually, I would love to watch the series in a similar format, for a long time there was something in the spirit of Firefly or Cowboy Bebop. The Expanse is not to be offered, it is good, but still more about politics.

Pros: Surprisingly good visuals; design of vehicles, weapons and environment; charismatic heroes; robot Babs Cons: Banal plot and characters; very straightforward staging of battles; impressive timing Conclusion:

Unpretentious but overall likable space sci-fi, especially given its modest budget.

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