Parasyte: The Grey Review
Parasyte: The Grey Review Out ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Parasyte: The Grey Review: Star Rating:

Cast: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, Fiona Shaw, John Hawkes, Finn Bennett, and Christopher Eccleston

Creator: Hitoshi Iwaaki

Director: Yeon Sang-ho

Streaming On: Netflix

Language: Korean (with subtitles)

Runtime: 6 episodes, around 1 hour each.

Parasyte: The Grey Review Out ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Parasyte: The Grey Review: What’s It About:

Parasyte: The Grey is a new live-action series, co-written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho, a director who jumped to fame thanks to his zombie masterpiece, Train to Busan. Since then, it seems Yeon Sang-ho has been looking for his next big thing, and this time he has chosen to adapt the seinen manga, Parasyte, written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, using all the resources that the South Korean entertainment business has to offer. The result is an uneven series with great highs but also great lows.

Parasyte: The Grey Review: Script Analysis:

The story of Parasyte: The Grey follows the concepts from the original manga but makes huge changes so that the story feels like its own thing. For once, the main character has been gender-swapped, and the high school scenario that serves as the initial environment for the original series is also abandoned in favor of a more adult protagonist and also a grittier environment, that of a low-wage worker. In this case, Yeon Sang-ho chooses the character of Jeong Su-ni as his protagonist, which changes the entire initial perfective.

However, as the season moves forward, the series starts to look a bit more familiar to the source material, with Su-ni getting invaded by a parasite that tries to take over her body but when it can, the two decide to enter a sort of truce, and their dynamic becomes one of the most interesting aspects of the show. Just like with Venom and Eddie Brock, the relationship between Su-ni and her parasite brings forth all sorts of crazy and violent situations that make the show worth watching.

However, some aspects of the original story have been abandoned almost completely, which makes Parasyte: The Grey something that is best watched without thinking that this is a direct adaptation because it isn’t; it is more inspired in Parasyte than anything else. The characters are all well drawn from the beginning of the story, and while I wish their character arcs could be more impactful, they serve the story as best they can.

The writing does feel a bit amateurish at times, especially in the way character relationships and expositions are handled. There is definitely a cartoon feeling that should have been avoided when translating the story into live-action because it makes the characters act in very strange ways. The series has amazing actors, but for some reason, the way they behave with each other never felt completely right, and it took me out of the experience several times. To be fair, this issue probably has more to do with direction than writing.

Parasyte: The Grey Review Out ( Photo Credit – IMDb )

Parasyte: The Grey Review: Star Performance:

Yeon Sang-ho knows that the story is all about its protagonist and her parasite, so he has chosen Jeon So-nee as her main actress, and she kills it in a role that asks a ton from her and her reactions not only to her strange situation but also the surrounding humans, a race to which it seems she no longer belongs to. The way So-nee carries the dynamic feels correct, and while she also steps at times into a very overly dramatic performance, she makes it feel completely correct within the context she is living in.

Koo Kyo-hwan, and Lee Jung-hyun also take major roles, both belonging to a secret organization that is battling these strange parasites coming from space. In any other series both actors would be playing the clear good guys of the story, but because we have Su-ni’s perspective over everything else, their roles become more nuanced and gray to say the list. The dynamic between each other and the dynamic their characters share with Su-ni is quite fun and interesting to watch.

Parasyte: The Grey Review: What Doesn’t Work:

Parasyte: The Grey knows that in order to translate this story into live-action, the show needs a good level of presentation, and that is exactly what the show has. The cinematography feels dark and gritty and fits the atmosphere of the show and the situations in it. Meanwhile, the director knows when to go frantic and when to have quieter moments to allow character development to be clear and direct. Yeon Sang-ho is an expert at working with visual effects at this point in his career, and that experience has come forward many times.

However, it would be a lie to say that this is Yeon Sang-ho’s best work or that the visual effects on the show are the best ever. In general, the direction and the overall visual design of the show are good but not spectacular, and at times, I felt there were some wasted opportunities to cause shock and impact. Some battle sequences look great, and the dynamic camerawork does a lot to make everything feel urgent, but the show definitely needed a bigger budget to make everything feel more real and more epic.

Parasyte: The Grey Review: Last Words:

Parasyte: The Grey is definitely not Yeon Sang-ho’s best work, and it seems trying to replicate the success the director found with Train to Busan won’t be easy, but the final result is a series that while uneven in several aspects from a narrative and technical standpoint, is still fun to watch, and it gives the push a lot of people need to go and read the original manga, which is really the best way to experience this story. Maybe in a second season, both the writing and the visual effects can find a way to be more polished before releasing to the public.

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