Alienoid: Return to the Future review by Bobby Blakey
Well Go USA bring fans all the epic Asian cinema to the US across all genres. In 2022 they brought together the martial arts wuxia film blended with sci-fi action to the world in hopes to create something new and fresh. What a lot of people didn’t know at the time was that a sequel was also filmed at the same time and that the film ended on a cliffhanger. Now the next chapter Aleinoid: Return to the Future is here starring Ryu Jun-Yeol, Kim Woo-bin, and Kim Tae-ri from Assassination and The Thieves director Choi Dong-hoon.
Alienoid: Return to the Future follows a shaman and a modern-day woman who race through time to battle a powerful alien commander intent on destroying mankind after locating the Divine Blade.
The first film was a refreshing surprise and did a great job meshing the genres and offering up plenty of twists and turns that affected both timelines. While the CGI was a bit touch and go it still worked and delivered a fun action packed sci-fi martial arts flick. I was concerned that this story didn’t really have enough to attempt to sustain another full-on feature, but to my pleasant surprise it did just that. It does go bigger and more outrageous in a fun way using magic and insanity for some of the final act, but I loved it.
It's bringing the same energy as the first outing, but I think with brisker pace. Since we are already in the story it can just get right to the action and allow us to have some fun right away. It does have moments where it gets a bit convoluted due to the amount of area it is trying to cover but does a good job of finding its way back on track quickly.
I love that it felt like it spent more time in the past this time around before
circling it all back to the present and the events we have already seen. Its tone and direction of the story reminded me of the original Planet of the Apes direction with varying things affecting that which happens before and after. This creates some clever surprises and twists that make it work way better than the first time around just because it has more to offer. Make no mistake, both films play as one long story and should be seen back-to-back, if possible, for an enhanced experience.
There is just something still off yet cool about watching a character in a wuxia era setting running around blasting people with a gun. It just upends all the rules for that genre and works on every level except for figuring out where all the extra bullets come from, but some things you just don’t discuss. Filled with great action, twists & turns, heart and all-around fun, this film brings everything fans enjoy from the first film, amp it up and bring it home in a big fun way.
There is an element that leaves it to the possibility of more outings should they decide, but it also wraps things up perfectly to leave it complete. Decide for yourself and check out Alienoid available now on digital, Blu-ray and DVD and the new chapter Alienoid: Return to the Future in theaters January 26th from Well Go USA.