In the world of the South Korean film Alienoid, alien criminals are imprisoned inside humans. Guard (Kim Woo-bin), a cyborg on present-day Earth, manages these prisoners and travels through time with Thunder, a fellow robot. When Guard travels to 14th century Korea to arrest an alien who broke out of its human jail, Thunder brings a baby back to the 21st century, causing a time rift. Ten years after these events, the ringleader of the criminals is transferred into Moon Do-seok (So Ju-seob), a police detective, and begins to wreak havoc.
Meanwhile, in the past, Mureuk (Ryu Jun-yeol) hunts for a mystical dagger, meeting a pistol-wielding woman, Lee Ahn (Kim Tae-ri), along the way. Sounds weird, right? I found this film while looking for Three Thousand Years of Longing show times. I was sold as soon as I read the brief description: “The door of time opens between the swordsman who wants to seize the legendary divine sword at the end of the Goryeo Dynasty and those who chase after an alien prisoner imprisoned in a human body in 2022.” I was so relieved to see something weird at my local Regal theater after almost 3 months of screens being clogged up by boring big studio films.
The film was a mishmash of genres, stuffed with characters and storylines, and I loved it. It took what I liked about each genre and threw it into one film – aliens, robots, time travel, martial arts, Taoist magic, and comedy. Choi Dong-hoon, the writer and director, used non-linear storytelling effectively and somehow made the film work. The fighting choreography was well done, and the CGI was pretty good too. Kim Woo-bin, the Guard, played a few different characters, and the stark contrast between them was my primary source of amusement. I only wish I’d known that this was a two-part film. Had I read the literal translation of the title, I would have known that it would end with a cliffhanger.
After seeing this movie, I read a few reviews, and the critiques are fair. Was the film confusing and hard to follow at times? Yes, it was, but I did find it engaging. A film rarely holds my attention for the entire runtime but I liked the controlled chaos; it took me longer than usual to figure out the small twists.
The ultimate test for me is if I would rewatch it. I would go back to the theater to watch this film, and if they released it in IMAX or 4DX (highly unlikely), as they did in S. Korea, I’d go. Will this film be for everyone? Definitely not. But, if you want a break from cliché franchise movie six or a generic superhero movie, this weird film is worth watching.
I’m a Data Analyst, from the land of Matthew McConaughey. I’m an avid movie-goer and love seeing films in theaters. My most recent favorite films are Good Time, Only Lovers Left Alive, TENET, and England is Mine. When I’m not at the movies, I’m either reading or watching obscene amount of true crime and historical documentaries.