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Alienoid (2022) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Ryu Jun Yeol (Actor) | Kim Woo Bin (Actor) | Kim Tae Ri (Actor) | Lee Si Hun (Actor)
Alienoid (2022) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Robot vs. Alien vs. Wizard
May 17, 2023 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
If there's one thing you can count on from Choi Dong Hun, it's a rollicking good time at the movies. The blockbuster Korean director has applied his formula of star power, sleek production and tight action to a whirlwind of genres, from gambling (Tazza) and costume fantasy (Jeon Woo Chi) to heist (The Thieves) and period espionage (Assassination). Continuing the tour of genres, Choi Dong Hun takes on sci-fi in his latest Alienoid, an ambitious if scattershot action-packed spectacle that has many things going on to entertain you.

As signaled in the title, aliens are among us and have been for years. Not only that, aliens beam their worst criminals to Earth and imprison them in the human brain. Bad things happen if alien prisoners escape or take control of their human host, so a stoic humanoid robot called Guard (Kim Woo Bin) plus his flying robot buddy watch over the prisoners on Earth across time. Guard drives a time-traveling car between 14th-century Korea and the present day, and ends up raising a girl who catches on that her adopted dad is a bit different. She finds out how different when a dangerous prisoner breaks free, and Guard has to battle an alien insurrection to save humanity.

Meanwhile back in the 1300s, other strange shenanigans are at play as a magic-wielding bounty hunter (Ryu Jun Yeol), a gun-wielding woman (Kim Tae Ri) and other Taoist sorcerers and shamans compete to find a divine blade with supernatural powers. The two timelines connect with various twists and reveals, though the payoff may not be as worthwhile as the long setup.

What is worthwhile is the spectacle. With its genre-mashing, time-traveling premise, Alienoid offers plentiful action and visual effects of different aesthetics in one film. In ancient times, there's kooky Taoist wizardry and wuxia wirework delivered with a comedic touch reminiscent of Jeon Woo Chi: The Taoist Wizard. In the modern day, spaceships descend from the sky, extraterrestrials extend tentacles into the mind, and a robot in armored suit battles aliens in the city streets, MCU style.

Alienoid is a hodgepodge of ideas that don't quite come together as well as one would hope, but the ride is fast, fun and bonkers enough to intrigue or entertain the whole way through. Meant to be the first of two films, it's in the least hooked me in enough to anticipate the sequel.

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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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