Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, “Jung_E” is an emotionally stirring drama that is packed with action, seemingly making it look like one of those films that stays on the surface and is devoid of any emotional depth, only to surprise you later on. The film, “Jung_E,” proves you wrong the moment it makes you privy to the conflict that forms its core. So, let’s find out what was happening in this post-apocalyptic world and witness the dastardly and unpleasant impact of what humans often refer to as evolution.
‘Jung_E’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
The climatic changes had caused the sea levels to rise, and humans had decided to shift to space as Earth was no longer conducive to living. The technology had drastically improved, and it allowed humans to build shelters between Earth and the Moon’s orbital planes. There were 80 odd shelters that the humans were able to build, out of which shelter nos. 8, 12, and 13 had joined forces to cause an insurgency. These settlements called themselves the Adrian Republic, and they began wreaking havoc on Earth and other shelters. The Allied forces and the Adrian Republic had been engaged in a war for the past many decades. The humans that were left on Earth produced weaponry, which included lethal combat AIs, and they supplied it to the allied forces. One such company was Kronoid, which was mapping the brain of a legendary mercenary and trying to create the perfect AI. That legendary mercenary was Yun Jung-yi, and she was often referred to as the pride of Korea. The irony was that Yun Jung-yi never wanted to be a mercenary, but she chose that life for herself because she wanted to save her daughter, who was suffering from a terminal illness. Her daughter was none other than Dr. Yun Seo-hyun, who was leading the team at Kronoid that was conducting the simulations.
Director Kim Sang-hoon was quite nervous as he had a presentation where he was supposed to inform the army generals about the status quo of the simulations and get a green light for the project. The future of Kronoid depended upon the success of Project Jung_E, and Kim Sang-hoon was well aware that this time, the stakes were quite high.
Yun Jung-yi’s final mission served as the source from where all the data for the AI was being copied. The android was supposed to operate in accordance with the collected data, and the simulation facilitated the activation of neural pathways. Through the simulations, the scientists were trying to extract the combat memory data by isolating the part of the brain that was activated. So basically, in layman’s terms, the simulation was trying to trigger responses and ascertain behavioral patterns and combat tactics that could form the basis of an unparalleled combat AI. But Yun Jung-yi had failed her final mission, and even in the simulations, she died every single time. Director Kim Sang-hoon was clueless about what he could do differently in order to make her succeed.
Every human had to take an ethics test at regular intervals in order to establish that they were not an AI. When Dr. Yun Seo-hyun went for that test, she was given some information by the doctor that she hadn’t expected. The cancer that she had in her childhood had once again started expanding, and she was told that she had less than three months to live. All sorts of negative thoughts started clouding Dr. Yun Seo-hyun’s mind, and she felt that the sacrifice of her mother was of no use and that the surgery she had in her childhood had been for nothing. Dr. Yun Seo-hyun often entertained the possibility that her mother might have resented her daughter because it had cost her her life. She wanted to know what went through her mind in those last few moments when she was on her mission. And in order to do that, she had to do something that was against the laws and the establishment.
How Did Yun Jung-yi Save Her Young Daughter’s Life?
In this post-apocalyptic world, people used to copy their brains before dying and transfer them to a prosthetic body. Though life was on the brink of extinction and humans had already made Earth inhabitable, economic antagonism still exploited those who were at the bottom of the food chain. Even though technology had developed, and humans could achieve the impossible, the foundation of society was plagued by class warfare. These brain-copying techniques came in three packages: Type A, Type B, and Type C. Human rights and other such privileges were guaranteed by the law only to the people who chose the Type A procedure, which was the most expensive one. The package included a cerebral storage backup, but Dr. Yun Seo-hyun didn’t have the kind of money to afford it. In the second one, i.e., Type B, freedom of movement, matrimonial, and adoption rights were not given, though the government required permission from the individual to access the brain data.
The last one, i.e., Type C, was free, but the individual taking it wasn’t treated in a humane manner. The government had complete access to one’s brain’s data, which allowed the companies to own it. Dr. Yun Seo-hyun’s mother, Yun Jung-yi, had chosen Type C, which is why Kronoid had created countless clones of her, and the government could further use her biological data for any purpose they deemed fit. Yun Jung-yi had agreed to it, knowing that after she was gone, the funds she got from the company would help her daughter with her living expenses. A young Yun Seo-hyun felt nice after she saw an action figure of her mother made by Kronoid, but little did she know that the oppressive government laws had made her into a commodity.
‘Jung_E’ Ending Explained: Is Sang-Hoon Dead? What Happened To Dr. Yun Seo-Hyun And Jung_E At The End?
There was a new product development wing recently created at Kronoid, and Director Kim Sang-hoon didn’t understand why a company creating combat AIs needed such a thing. When Dr. Yun Seo-hyun met the chairman of the company, we came to know that even Director Kim Sang-hoon was an AI created by the chairman himself. The chairman wanted to replicate his brain, and that is how the prototype designs came into existence. The chairman told Yun Seo-hyun that the Allied and Adrian forces were entering a treaty, which meant that weapon contracting was no longer a profitable venture. The chairman had already planned that they would start creating household services with AI. Later, at the Kronoid laboratory, Yun Seo-hyun found out that her colleague Jae Kyung was indulging in an indecent act with a clone of her mother. Jae Kyung told her that he was innocent and that he had gotten orders from the headquarters to try out a product development for the legendary mercenary. The headquarter believed that her image of a war hero could be quite valuable if applied sexually. Yun Seo-hyun couldn’t believe what she was witnessing, and she felt dismayed and horrified at seeing the memories and consciousness of her mother put to such use. Probably, it was that moment in which a daughter realized that she needed to fight for the respect and modesty of her mother. She realized that honor, respect, and everything else only mattered if it was profitable. The headquarters didn’t think once before belittling the memories of a war hero, and they proved that they were ready to sell their souls if it could give them some material gain.
Director Kim Sang-hoon, during one of the simulation tests, found out that an unknown area of Yun Jung-yi had been tapped, and he wanted to find out more details about it. He had an intuition that his project, Jung_E, could be successful if he knew what triggered that response and how she could find the will to fight even after enduring so much pain. Those yellow vibrations that we saw were the love and care that a mother had for her daughter. Yun Jung-yi could fight because she knew that in order to fend for her daughter, she had to accomplish her mission at all costs. She could endure all that pain because she wanted to see her daughter one last time and know if her surgery was successful or not.
Yun Seo-hyun realized what those yellow vibrations were when she conducted a simulation test alone. Even when Yun Jung-yi knew she was about to die, she wanted to know if her daughter’s surgery was a success or not. She was more worried about the doll that her daughter had given her before she left for the battle, even though she stood on the threshold of death. Yun Seo-hyun told her mother that her daughter’s cancer was in remission, and it was a gut-wrenching feeling for her not to be able to tell her that she was her daughter. There was no resentment she held, as Yun Seo-hyun had thought, and there was nothing but love that she felt for her daughter. Yun Jung-yi would have gladly done it all over again if the life of her daughter was at stake. It was a cathartic moment for Dr. Yun Seo-hyun. She had carried the burden on her shoulders for such a long time, and now, after hearing what her mother had to say, she was determined not to let headquarters have its way. Yun Seo-hyun deleted that unidentified yellow area from Yun Jung-yi’s consciousness, and she told her whatever had happened to her after she went into a coma-like state and how her brain had been replicated. Yun Seo-hyun hoped that her mother would store everything in her subconscious mind and remember it when the time came, which she did. Yun Jung-yi pretended to die when clearly, she had dodged the bullet.
Kim Sang-hoon had the intuition that something didn’t go right in the simulation. He came back to check the recorded footage from the test when he realized that the bullet had never hit Yun Jung-yi. Meanwhile, Yun Seo-hyun took out her mother’s replicated brain and put it inside another AI. She then escaped from the facility and boarded a train. Kim Sang-hoon chased the mother-daughter duo, and that’s when he got to know that Yun Seo-hyun had deleted the original data so that she could start all over again. All the other combat AIs and the police force started following the train, on which Dr. Yun Seo-hyun was with her mother. Director Kim Sang-hoon was thrown off the train, and he was probably destroyed. We say ‘probably’ because, considering he was an AI, it could be possible that his brain might be retrieved and put into another artificial body. Yun Seo-hyun got shot by a bullet, and she urged her mother’s AI to escape and run as far as possible. The legendary warrior’s replicated brain was still alive, though her daughter might not be able to see the light of day. Even if Dr. Yun Seo-hyun survived her wound, she had only three months left as cancer had spread to her vital organs. It might be possible that she would also attain immortality through replication of the brain, but her real-life body would eventually die. As for Yun Jung-yi, she didn’t know what to think or do next. Even though the memories of her daughter had been erased, she knew that she had lost someone very special.
What Is There To Expect From ‘Jung_E’ 2?
Yun Jung-yi might not have known the nitty gritty of her relationship with Dr. Yun Seo-hyun, but she knew that she had lost someone, and the oppressive and authoritarian regime was to blame for it. She had seen with her own eyes that a woman who wanted to save her was brutally murdered by a pawn of the ruling class. She had escaped, but a fire raged in her heart, which had converted her into a certified outlaw who was ready to burn the system to the ground. We might see Yun Jung-yi waging a war against the system. Right now, she is a lone survivor, so she does not have the resources or manpower like that of the headquarters. We shouldn’t forget the fact that the headquarters wanted to map her brain so they could have leverage against the Adrain Republic. It tells us that Yun Jung-yi was a celebrated warrior for a reason. She might not have been able to complete the simulation, but she had still single-handedly decimated the clones. Yun Jung-yi was more lethal than ever because love is a powerful emotion, and when she stood on the edge of the land, overlooking the horizon, we knew that it was the calm before the storm. We wouldn’t be surprised if Yun Jung-yi was able to build an army of rebels that were ready to fight against the allied forces.
The Adrian Republic had entered into a treaty with the allied forces, which might have fed the ego of the latter, making them feel that they were invincible. In the second installment of “Jung_E” (if there is any), we will definitely witness a war between Yun Jung-yi and the establishment. Yun Jung-yi was not only driven by a political agenda; she also wanted to find answers. She wanted to know who that woman was who had died to save her. We hope that she gets her memories back and realizes that amidst all the chaos, class conflict, debauchery, and corruption, there was a mother who gave her life to save her daughter from a terminal illness, and in return, her daughter sacrificed herself to protect the memories of her mother.
“Jung_E” is a 2023 Drama Action film directed by Sang-ho Yeon.