The overflow of “Alienoid” could have easily been boring, given its many tangents and secondary characters. Fortunately, writer/director Choi Dong-hoon backs up his reputation as a hitmaker by balancing overly bloated sets with disarmingly slimy comedy and delightful character actor performances. And while the brilliant costumes, shifting timelines, and bloated special effects might seem like the most important parts of “Alienoid,” you’re really here to watch Choi (“Assasination,” “Woochi: The Demon Slayer”) keep as as many attitudes in flight as he can.
One of the main charms of “Alienoid” is how hard Choi works to weave familiar (i.e. American) sci-fi tropes into an ostensibly Korean narrative. This at least partly explains why there’s a 14th century adventure at the heart of a time-jumping “The Terminator”-style chase, featuring ruthless aliens who stuff the souls of their prisoners into human bodies. involuntary. (Choi also provides useful context here at James Marsh South China Morning Post interview)
Time, space, and logic are meaningless to these extraterrestrials, whose species, individual names, and general qualities remain largely undefined. All you need to know is that in the year 2022, the smoldering and stoic alien guard (Kim Woo-bin) and his flying robot companion Thunder (voiced by Kim Dae-myung) must stop an evil alien called the Collector before that he can’t do it. free his fellow aliens trapped in their human bodies. Guard and Thunder are joined by their brave human ward Ean (Choi Yu-ri), who sometimes forces his two surrogate fathers to explain themselves and the stakes of their drama.
Meanwhile, in 1391: Muruk (Ryu Jun-yeol), a hapless bounty hunter dosa magician, seeks the Divine Blade, which is naturally of extraterrestrial origin. Muruk roams the countryside with a pair of mystical cats (Shin Jung-geun and Lee Si-hoon) who live within his enchanted fan. They are joined by a number of competing seekers, particularly the evil masked shaman Jajang (Kim Eui-sung) and his relentless alien accomplice (Ji Gun-woo), as well as the lady with a gun mentioned above ( Kim Taeri) and an unfortunate duo of magician buddies consisting of Madame Black and Mr. Blue (Yum Jung-ah and Jo Woo-jin). Individually, these characters don’t matter, but together, as a migraine-inducing conspiracy, they’re pretty compelling.