There’s no way of sugar-coating this, Alienoid is one of the biggest disappointments in 2022.
After watching the trailer in the theaters, this was a film I was looking forward to for months, and not only is it a disappointing, confusing mess of a film, but it is only half of the film on top of that.
Much like the remake of “Dune”, Alienoid is a two-and-a-half-hour ½ film. The film is set on present-day Earth, Guard (Kim Woo-bin) who is in charge of managing alien prisoners confined in human brains, arrests prison-breakers with his robotic colleague Thunder. They bend time and space to carry out their duties but never intervene in human affairs.
After catching an alien escapee in the 14th century, they return to the 21st century with a human baby of a victim of the alien criminal, causing a small crack in the time-space system. About 10 years later, a group of convicts from a planet is sent to Earth, and Guard imprisons them in human brains. The criminal leader, known as the “architect” and his supporters break their human prison, while Guard and Thunder try to put the prisoners back into the mortal body.
Due to the unexpected clash between extraterrestrial forces on Earth, the portal that links the 14th and 21st centuries opened. In the 14th century during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), a group of Taoist magicians, including Ja-jang (Kim Eui-sung), a masked man who leads a secret gang, searches for a legendary divine sword. Mureuk (Ryu Jun-yeol), a clumsy martial artist, while looking for the sword, runs into a mysterious woman named Lee Ahn (Kim Tae-ri), who carries a pistol.
For a film that’s only the first half of a story, “Alienoid” has way too much going on for audiences to follow the story. This is one of the hardest films to follow this year. The story swings back from the 14th century all the way to the 19th century following three different narratives. The story is unorganized due to being a hodgepodge of genres that don’t mesh.
On one hand, the film is a futuristic movie about aliens in the high society place in the present day environment, five minutes later the film is back in the fourteenth century and it is an old-school South Korean martial arts film, then somewhere in between, it’s a story of a young girl this place in the future who’s the only family is a couple of futuristic robots.
The only bigger mess than its narrative is the CGI in the film, a South Korean film that did not have the budget or the ability to pull off half the things attempted in the movie. The film is the cinematic equivalent of putting beer cans in the dryer and seeing what happens before it blows up.
Audiences will have to wait until 2023 when part 2 comes out to find out if this film wasn’t a complete waste of time. “Alienoid” is one of the least enjoyable South Korean films that I’ve seen in quite some time. A film that needs to learn the lesson that less is more.
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