Movie Review: Along with the Gods 2 Gets up and Personal
Subtitles: Malay, English, Chinese
Starring: Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi, Don Lee, Kim Dong-Wook
If it feels like it wasn't too long ago since the first film was released, then you're not wrong. Launched in Malaysia on the 18th of January this year, "Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds" was received with much applause, effectively skyrocketing the growing reputation of the Korean film-making industry. Now, hot on its trail is its sequel, "Along With The Gods 2: The Last 49 Days".
From the looks of things, "Along With The Gods 2" is set to break more records. It has already beaten "Mission Impossible" in the Korean box office, as well as drawn the most film-goers in one day in Korea. And if how crazy we Malaysians are when it comes to Korean films and dramas is anything to go by...
The future of "Along With The Gods 2" looks bright.
What is it about?
"Along With The Gods 2" picks up where its predecessor left off by bringing us the story of vengeful spirit-turned-paragon, Su-hong (Kim Dong-wook), who is adamantly in denial as to the true nature of his death. Unable to accept the circumstances in which he had died in, he proves to be a rather difficult ward for Gang-lim (Ha Jung-woo), as he constantly rebels and talks back to the stoic Head Guardian. Loudly, I might add.
A stark contrast to his more docile older brother, although the aforementioned did offer his own set of problems to the Guardians.
In the meantime, while Gang-lim deals with a stubborn Su-hong, Hewonmak (Ju Ji-hoon) and Deok-choon (Kim Hyang-gi) uncover the secrets of their past lives with the help of a Household God (Don Lee)...
Is it worth a watch?
If you're expecting a fast-paced, action-filled rollercoaster ride that is very much like the first film, you might want to sit down for a bit. While "Along With The Gods 2" has its own fair share of action scenes, thanks to the more personal nature of the film, the former has to be dialed back a bit.
The personal tone in question being the uncovering of our favourite Guardians' past lives.
"Along With The Gods 2" follows two main storylines. The first is about Gang-lim's journey with Su-hong, and the other is about Hewonmak and Deok-choon, who slowly learn about their past lives through the hardheaded yet soft-hearted Household God, Sung-ju. It is as the film progresses that all three of their past lives unfold, and we get to learn about the shocking and intimately interwoven past lives they once held. Hewonmak, who used to be one of the fiercest warriors; Deok-choon, who used to be the carer and protector of orphans; and Gang-lim, whose past serves as a jarring contrast to his current self.
There is yet another character reveal whose past is as or is maybe even more so of a stunner than Gang-lim's, but I'll let you find that one out for yourselves.
Although this sequel has taken a slightly different tone in comparison to its predecessor, it is by no means less exciting. At the very least, it has done well enough for itself to avoid the illness that is called Sequel-itis. There is just something satisfying about learning about our favourite Guardians on a more personal level, seeing them as more than fearsome warriors from the Afterlife. That said, the change in pace in the film might feel as a bother to some, with scenes shifting from fantastic action sequences rife with dinosaurs to scenes that are more calm, albeit solemn and filled with war-torn poverty.
If you're a fan of this movie series, you might want to give "Along With The Gods 2" a try.
Bonus: Avid fans might love what's in store at the end of the film. Wink wink.
"Along With The Gods 2" is hitting cinemas on 30th August!
Written by Crunch's Melissa Kartini