Rated 4.0

Premiering on Netflix and receiving a limited theatrical release, the entertaining Okja offers more high-energy genre subversion from South Korean writer-director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpierecer; The Host), who this time uses a Spielberg-ian children’s fantasy template to bluntly satirize issues related to animal rights, environmental destruction and corporate greed. Snowpiercer supporting player Tilda Swinton gets a co-producer credit here, and a plum part as the CEO of a Monsanto-like conglomerate, but its Jake Gyllenhaal who delivers the biggest, broadest deal-breaker of a comedic performance, squawking like a strangled clown and flapping about in cargo shorts and black crew socks. Okja offers a lot of the same elements that made Snowpiercer so successful, but it misses that film’s irrefutable narrative progression, especially in an out-of-control second half. The film finally lands on an incredibly beautiful final shot, albeit one that feels divorced from the previous hour of tonal and thematic chaos. D.B.