Well GO USA
Coming to Theatres August 26, 2022 (Please check local listings)
Choi Dong-hoon’s ambitious plans for Alienoid are big. In part one, two robots–a very humanoid looking Guard (Kim Woo-bin) and a mechanical Thunder (voiced by Kim Dae-myung)–are tasked to keep watch on certain prisoners. Their bosses are some strange alien species who imprison the essences of their criminals in human vassals. Instead of making the entire planet a penal colony, we have to suspend disbelief and assume Seoul, South Korea, is special for a reason.
Perhaps in each major city, there are other guardians, and their assignment to monitor those prisoners is to make sure they don’t awaken. It’s very possible these criminal aliens can bend the minds of their hosts. They can take them for a very unwilling ride, and for unsuspecting humans, the result can sometimes be ugly. It’s safe to say neither can survive without the other. Or should that be, each criminal can’t last outside their prison without a host.
After a mission to retrieve an escapee who fled to Korea’s past (the Goryeo Dynasty) doesn’t go as planned, what these two Robocops face goes beyond what they’re programmed to do. After a woman dies in the crossfire, they find her with Ean, a baby girl, who can’t be abandoned. Her dying words to Guard and Thunder is to take care of her. However, they are not ready to become parents. When they take her back to their future and raise her (Kim Tae-ri) as their own, what she learns is lopsided.
Ean barely knows anything about one dad, who lacks emotion, and the mechanical companion who is the opposite is very sympathetic. This aspect of the film kept me invested. In essence, Alienoid becomes My Two Dads and the humour is just right. It doesn’t get too comical, because these lighter moments help balance the other tense moments. As they continue being time cops, she sometimes tags along. When there plot concerning finding a magical dagger becomes more prominent, apparently Ean knows something they don’t!
Meanwhile, set in the past, Muruk (Ryu Jun-yeol) and an older Ean are in search of the Divine Blade. Just when she returned to her century is unknown. And if that isn’t strange enough, two other sorcerers–Madam Black (Yum Jung-ah) and Mr. Blue (Jo Woo-jin)–are on the same quest, too. I’m betting this magical item is important because it allows the holder to travel through time.
To keep record of all these plots is confusing. It’s no worse than how Back to the Future’s Marty McFly and Doc Brown tries to correct the timeline, where Jennifer and Lorraine end up unhappy. Instead, it’s about what Ean has to become–a future crusader.
I can’t blame Dong-hoon for making a two and a half hour movie just to pack all the introductions and explanations in. Honestly, I’m going to need a cheat sheet to track everything that’s going on in Alienoid. This science fiction wuxia style film has a lot of good bits to like, but to pack it all in requires dedication. I’ll need it while waiting for the next two films to be made (part 2 was filmed back to back with the first) and released. In a nutshell, this movie is V the Series meets Terminator.
As for how this series can conclude will mean repairing the time line since it was fractured when Ean’s mom died.
The good news is Choi Dong-hoon has his quadrilogy all outlined. The next two films are ready to go into production and I wouldn’t be surprised if those will be filmed back to back. When considering this introduction ends on a cliffhanger, it’s safe to say the wait for part two won’t be long.
4 Stars out of 5