July 8, 2024


2024 / 122 min
Review by Peppy the Poopy😼

Just to clarify, Alienoid: Return to the Future is not a sequel, but the second half of Korea’s Alienoid saga. Like Dune: Part Two, if you haven’t seen the first film (released in 2022), this one will will utterly incomprehensible.

The first Alienoid is a bonkers mash-up of science-fiction, fantasy, action, disaster movie, comedy, historical fiction, Taoism, martial arts and family drama. It juggles two concurrent narratives. In the present day, Guard and Thunder are shapeshifting alien robots imprisoning their planet’s criminals in the unaware bodies of human beings while taking care of 10-year-old Ahn. Some of the prisoners escape their human hosts to wreak havoc while trying to find the man hosting their leader, The Controller, who’ll unleash Haava, floating balls of their home planet’s atmosphere, which is deadly to humans.

Meanwhile in the 14th Century, Muruk is a swordsman and former apprentice to a couple of comically conniving sorcerers. A grown-up Ahn also exists in this timeline, armed with 21st century weapons. Everyone is seeking The Divine Sword, which has the power to release prisoners from their human hosts…meaning the bad guys want it, too. Alienoid was ultimately enjoyable, but overlong and a bit of a challenge to follow.

"Talk to the hand."
The same kudos and criticism apply to Return to the Future, which opens with a brief recap before picking up where the first film left off. Presently, the countdown to the Haava being released has begun while the search for The Controller intensifies. In the 14th Century, it’s revealed that The Controller might inhabit one of the main protagonists, making the quest for The Divine Sword more imperative. If you’ve seen the first film, this one is obviously a lot easier to follow, with a more straightforward narrative leading up to a big, destructive, FX-laden climax in the present day. But even having seen the original Alienoid (about a year ago), it took me considerable time to get reacquainted with the huge cast of characters and numerous plot points. 

Other than a noticeably greater emphasis on broad comedy, the tone and pace of Return to the Future are the same as Alienoid, along with gobs of the same over-the-top action...swordplay, fighting, magic, gravity-defying stunts, chases and monster mayhem, with an epic train crash thrown in for good measure. The special effects aren’t always convincing, but certainly fun to watch. If you enjoyed the part one, there’s no reason you wouldn’t like part two. But if you haven’t seen the first film, forget about it.


FEATURETTES - Making of is a brief promotional featurette; Character Road Map is equally short, briefly explaining each main character’s name and role.



No comments: