After Yang

After Yang ★★★

Really taken by some ideas and visuals present in After Yang but it is weighed down by a general lack of focus and underdeveloped characters. Sort of as if someone watched the World of Tomorrow trilogy, wanted to expand upon it, but just made a boring live-action clone of it.

Mitski song is lovely, and there’s so many little good bits about Identity and what it means to be Artificially Intelligent, but it also feels weirdly techphobic (a la Black Mirror) in a subtle way and confused about what statements (if any?) about the “future” it wants to make.

Obviously, all films about being The Other are inherently about what it means to be human, but I don’t really think the movie has anything new to say about Otherness that hasn’t been better done before. It passively introduces ideas through discussions and doesn’t engage much.

I also really wish the film had gotten deeper into what it means to feel disconnected from and far removed from what is presumably your own culture because of the people you exist around and what you internalize, but maybe that’s more something for a good essayist to do.

Honestly would love to see a version of this movie that is exclusively Yang’s memories because those flashes, uninterrupted, are the film’s most beautiful and compelling.

Juan liked this review