As you all probably know, I like some really boring movies. I love some slow, long-ass movies, let me tell ya. So when I say that Burning was too long and too boring for ME, I imagine that should land!
I might have still been able to handle the slowly, s l o w l y delivered plot if I hadn’t found the three characters I had to spend all this time with each so aggravating. Jeon Jong-seo conceptually, Yoo Ah-in intrinsically, and Steven Yeun sexually. Good god Steven Yeun is handsome. 2018 was the year Steven Yeun was out to get your girl, and sorry he’s gonna! He’s such a fucking DISH. Even in this where he’s eerie as hell! Steven Yeun can always get it, and that’s what we have learned from Burning.
But no I cannot recommend this movie. Which is a shame because theoretically I like a slow-burn Korean neo-noir where one of the features is that you can distantly hear the disembodied propaganda loudspeakers at the border just a few miles north. I like someone jogging along frost-covered fields. I like the odd, cool-to-the-touch score (“bloodless” Emily Yoshida called it). I like the hazy blue poster, capturing the mesmerizing way Jeon Jong-seo has of moving her arms, alive and feeling all the way through her fingertips.
This could be a soufflé movie, where it’s gonna collapse if you break the gradually building atmosphere in any way, and admittedly I paused it for almost 24 hours when I got invited to a cook-out. But…I paused it gratefully. I wanted to like Burning, but I found this a dull, interminable drag, with a stupefyingly unlikable & uninteresting lead, and a sexist trope of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl character I thought men were supposed to have been shamed out of writing years ago. Not even watching creepbabe Steven Yeun pristinely putting in his contacts could save this one for me.