NOOOOooOOOoooOOooOOOOoooOOO!!!! It’s more awful Korean Children’s cinema! Why do I watch this? Okay, someone requested Robotstar Jjanga, and it’s also the first part of a film series that eventually featured a Korean Batman. But in this prequel, the actor who goes on to be Batman (or Betaman) is an awkward teen who wets the bed. The Dark Knight Returns was never so gritty….wait, I think Batman did wet his pants in some story….
As usual with Korean Children’s movies, the main event is a “funny” fat guy who acts like a giant baby man. He turns out to also be an intergalactic hero who lives on Earth in disguise (and unaware of who he is) until he’s called back to duty, at which point everyone becomes cartoons and character designs are stolen from The Transformers. Hey, this might be the only chance you will ever get to see toy accurate Reflector menace humans! The flying space carrier Fortress Maximus has been used by Transformers canon (a fact I learned thanks to the Transformers Wiki) so that’s not as unique as it seemed. As someone who had the Reflector toy as a lad, it was sort of fun watching him stomp around before he was defeated by a fat guy and an annoying robot. My toy would never suffer such indignity!
Said fat guy is named Dung-dung (I’ve found a few names for characters who went nameless back when I reviewed the sequel), and he enjoys chewing gum and stealing food. He lives with a scientist and his misfit family, which consists of bratty children and a grown daughter named Su-Ji. There is also a robot (a guy in suit robot!) named Robokong, who is tolerable only because Dung-dung is so intolerable. Giving and taking, that’s what Korean children’s cinema does. You give your time and it takes your life…
As usual for obscure gems like these, the synopsis portion of Robotstar Jjanga is much larger, to better accommodate people who don’t want to sift through terribly designed Korean blogs to find the streaming videos of these old school films dubbed from VHS tapes. I really, really hate Naver. Hate. Hate Naver. HATE! But not as much as I hate Dung-dung.
Robotstar Jjanga is written and directed by Kim Yeong-han, the very same maniac who brought us Super Batman & Mazinger V and Hwarang-V Trio! Clearly Kim Yeong-han is a cinematic monster who needs to answer to his crimes. But unfortunately anyone who goes up against him will be forced to turn into a cartoon character and battle giant robots. This is sadly becoming a trend among terrible directors, protected by guardian robots in the realm of animation. Time to bring back Judge Doom so we can get enough Dip to save cinema!
A robot obsessed fatty named Dung-dung takes forever to wake up, and we’re subjected to his shirtless body writhing in bed. Wonderful cinema, I can see why the world loves Korean movies. His robot makes him get up, and we’re subjected to “funny” “comedy” routines as Dung-dung gets ready like an idiot.
Dung-dung lives/works with a mustache scientist guy, a woman named Su-Ji, and several children, including a boy who wets the bed (and all the other characters then mock and beat him – in a “funny” way! I’m sure his suicide will also be “funny”…)
Dung-dung experiences some PTSD of being a cartoon character in an intergalactic war while playing a jet fighter video game. Then Dung-dung and the children stumble across three sunglasses and trench coat wearing creepers (two male goons and a female leader named Gohura) dragging away a young girl. Dung-dung lets the kids get beat up as he bravely stumbles around avoiding conflict. Thanks to Dung-dung leading one of the guys away due to his bumbling, the kids manage to rescue the captive girl. They all escape via car driven by Su-Ji.
The villains commandeer their own car (by hypnotizing a passing driver and making him drive) and give chase. Despite the bad guys blasting away at the heroes with a space gun, the heroes escape because one of the kids has a ball filled with oil(!?!?) that he tosses into the street and the villain’s car loses traction and careens off a cliff, exploding. Though the villains aren’t dead, we are never told if the innocent driver was maliciously killed.
It turns out the kidnapped girl is actually a kidnapped Space Princess named Sara!
The family sets up dinner and says grace, which means Dung-dung eats a bunch of cake while grace is being said, and dinner devolves into a food fight. The family then hang then they hang out at some Korean amusement park and dance with the animal characters there, some of which are borrowed from Disney. Likely some studio also owns the park and wanted to cross-promote. The family goes in a spooky haunted house section filled with creepy animatronics.
Sara the rescued princess goes to Dung-dung at night to explain to him who he really is – Jjanga! (I’m also going to mention that they used a cartoon moon to represent night instead of an actual shot of the moon!)
We have a cartoon flashback, where a Space Cadet Jjanga battles the evil blue haired Rust Queen and her goons. He’s blasted into space, and that’s why he’s on Earth.
The villains attack the family (and Professor Dad runs right up a tree, letting his kids fight the battle!) The only decent fighter is the little girl, Robokong gets zapped by Gohura, and one of the goons is so angry that he was defeated by children he morphs into a monkey man!
Monkey man is then beat up by Dung-dung.
The other goon is killed (his body turns into pink gas), and Robokong zaps the evil woman back, and she disappears into nothing.
Dung-dung, Robokong, Princess Sara, and Su-Ji transform into cartoon characters and fly into space to take the fight to the evil Rust Queen. The cartoons reveal that Robokong has an alternate robot form that is more Transformer combat robot-ish, though I don’t recognize it as being a copy of anything (if you do, please say so in the comments!)
The Rust Queen has Sara’s mom captive, and the Queen launches an attack with lots of fighters. The good guys launch their flying aircraft carrier and fighters (the flying carrier will obviously turn into a huge robot later!)
Dung-dung and crew land in the villain’s base and begin sneaking around, luckily the goofy guards are easily fooled. Rust Queen should have paid extra dough for some live action guards, they’d still be easily defeated, but they might have enough sense to sound the alarms. Robokong fights a lame ED-209 ripoff, too bad there are no stairs around!
Jjanga fights the Rust Queen, saving Sara’s mom just in time. The heroes escape with mom, but the Rust Queen awakens three robots and sends them after. These robots are 100% toy accurate copies of the generation 1 Reflector toy I had as a kid. Real 80s kids will know Reflector was mail-in only, costing $10 and 2 robot points. He was a reuse of the Camera Robo from Microman, and consists of the robots Viewfinder, Spectro, and Spyglass.
The Reflectors shoot down the escape craft, so now the heroes have to fight the giant Reflector bots on the surface of an asteroid. Only Jjanga and Robokong can stand up to the robots.
Jjanga turns his hand into a cannon, which blasts one of the Reflectors, but he’s out of energy and the other two close in. Just then, the aircraft carrier shows up and turns into a Red Metroplex robot!
Children are singing the movie’s theme song, so you know the villains are going to lose! Red Metroplex brutally kills the two remaining Reflectors, then blows up the ship the Rust Queen is escaping in. Why didn’t they have Red Metroplex just murder everyone to begin with?
Huzzah! Medals for all!
Jjanga, Su-Ji, and Robokong go back to Earth, Jjanga having quite enough of this being a famous fighting adventurer nonsense. Sara is in tears, but forget about that.
Jjanga, Robokong, and Su-Ji arrive home, their family celebrates, and no one mentions why half of these characters aren’t in the sequel! I’m thinking: horrible drunk driving accident after the blender they have celebrating the destruction of the Rust Queen. Don’t drink and drive, kids!
Rated 1/10 (Bootleg Inferno!)
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