Director: Choi Dong-hoon
Notable Cast: Kim Tae-ri, Kim Woo-bin, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Hanee, Kim Eui-sang, Yum Jung-ah
Shortly after the release of Choi Dong-hoon's Assassination back in 2015, there began to be rumblings online of a two-part epic that the acclaimed filmmaker was working on. Some seven years later, part one of that saga was presented before the world in the form of Alienoid, and the reception towards it was pretty brutal, to say the least. The film garnered its fans, myself included, but people just seemed to have some sort of animosity towards this initial film. I thought the picture certainly had its flaws, but I won't deny the fun of it all, and that blockbuster sort of ride you come to expect from the director attached was undoubtedly there. Fortunately, Choi and the team greenlit both parts back-to-back, and for those naysayers of the first film, or even for those who weren't fully satisfied with the end product, rest assured as 2024 is starting off with a bang with this unexpected gem of a sequel with Alienoid: Return to the Future. Not only does it make good on the promises of the first film, but it makes great on them.
The events of this sequel take place immediately after the sort of to-be-continued cliffhanger ending of the first; Lee Ahn is searching for the sacred dagger that will solve all of the issues with the impending threat of the extraterrestrial chemical that has been released in Seoul in the modern year 2022. Lee is back in time, and she, Mureuk, alongside a cast of characters returning and some new faces, such as a blind warrior, has the power to make his sword zip around the environment and return to him at will, making for an exciting cast of familiar faces and new additions to give this sequel an even more robust ensemble than the previous outing offered. The same can be said for the side of the villains. They aren't quite as diverse as our heroes, but their threat feels all the more real and menacing this time around. The stakes are incredibly high, and the characters are much more fleshed out and the whole cast is in perfect harmony here, making you feel fully invested as the world becomes in a dangerous situation and quickly at that.