brando!’s review published on Letterboxd:
two entirely different films are mashed into one, and within those two films are also a plethora of elements, tone, and plot strings.
wuxia-inspired martial arts wirework, scifi creature feature schlock, MCU-esque superhero action, blockbuster-level city-leveling alien invasion chase scenes, fantasy shaman magic bullshit, and a lot more of everything collide together in a chaotic and slightly overstuffed 3 hours of nonstop insanity.
one moment it's a period piece fantasy comedy the next it's a Spielbergian "kid meets alien" mystery in modern day Seoul, Alienoid is constantly juggling and ripping its audience from the past into the future, from genre to genre, from tone to tone without warning or relent. it sounds like a mess, but the throughline of its loveable characters, well-shot and choreographed action scenes, and the sheer CONFIDENCE it has in switching up tones and story beats wins you over almost effortlessly.
it's so refreshing to see a blockbuster just brimming with this much creativity and, again, confidence that the audience will just buy into its bullshit to have fun for three hours. kind of astounding from a Western viewer's perspective to see a film be simultaneously hilarious, full of heart, and actually tense with REAL stakes that fully immerses you in all of its tonal/genre juggling.
i don't understand why American blockbusters insist on picking one or the other, lacking the trust that audiences will be able to keep up if you just try something new.
anyway, with all that it does get a little weary by the end, where the exposition is laid out when all the disparate plot threads tie together to make sure the audience isn't lost, but it ends JUST before it overstays its welcome, ending things with a nice cliffhanger to make sure we want more.
and you can bet your ass i want more, bring on part 2!