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The story initially is predictable, as he breezes though the initial trials. Then the film gets increasingly engaging and captivating. The final trials are not predictable anymore, and there is much suspense. The visuals are great, and there is clearly a lot of thought going into the visuals. The ending is very touching, particularly when viewers understand the Oriental culture about filial duties. Lots of tissues were used in the cinema!
I didn't figure the Korean blockbuster to be a tearjerker, but it most certainly was. All through the screening, I could hear people around me sniffling and wiping their tears away unabashedly, me included. The movie doesn't even try to be subtle in this aspect and I must say every rivulet of my tears was earned.
Yet the story is also fashioned as a fast-paced pulsating adventure ride and it scores top marks in this aspect too. My eyes blinked in disbelief and my mind boggled in awe as the twists and turns become wilder and twistier, but never losing its grasp on the audience. This is high concept done well, every far-fetched notion perfectly digestible. There is superb verve in its storytelling. Nothing is truly what it seems.
Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds is a film that is solidly cast. I don't get the Korean names very well, but I watch a lot of Korean cinema and TV dramas and instantly recognised all the familiar faces. Cha Tae Hyun is perfectly cast as the good-natured Paragon with a well of secrets that threaten to derail his chances at reincarnation at every trial. The casting of the 3 grim reapers is also spot-on with differing dynamics that lend propulsion to the story.
There is some amazing world building here, every level of hell is well-rendered and nothing for this reviewer feels repetitive. The CGI work here is top-notch, considering 90% of the movie is probably done to a green screen. IMHO CGI is just a means to an end and the end must always be to serve the story. The story is so strong here that the CGI disappears into the background.
Exposition is always a tricky business in storytelling and Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds is practically all exposition. But the intrigue and suspense build-up through character motivations constantly draws one deeper into the proceedings. My senses hinged closely on the afterlife guardians' explanations at every turn as I got ready for the next trial. Even with the advance preparation the trial still puts me in a tailspin with some shocking revelations. Director Kim Yong Hwa even takes a 2-pronged narrative trek midway with both narrative trajectories dovetailing in the final act effectively.
The story resonates on God levels here. It is a rip-roaring adventure action film, but it also scores as an examination of the complexities of life lived in whatever station you are in. I shuddered in my seat as the end credits ran, wondering if I will see another movie that is as thrilling and heartfelt as this or can I even pass the seven trials right at that moment. Movies should do this - move you and make you want to become a better person. In a year you can count on the fingers of one hand, movies that can perform this feat successfully.
PS - a cameo during the ending threw me into a loop. I only found out later that this is the first of a 2-part epic, the concluding chapter will open in the summer of this year. Oh yeah! I am ready.
The visual effects were interesting, as well. Some scenes were very obvious blue screen imagery, while other scenes were absolutely incredible. I really enjoyed the protagonist's brother's back story, who was buried alive (believed to be dead) and then becoming a vengeful spirit. He wrecks the most amazing mayhem during the fantastic climax scene and the visuals here are simply awesome! This is a film I'll watch again and again.
"Singwa hamgge", a.k.a. "Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds", is a delightful fantasy about reincarnation with funny and melodramatic moments. Jung-woo Ha steals the movie with a great performance but the cast also shines. The top-notch special effects is another attraction. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
The story is just emotional in all levels , the guy has to pass through the 7 judgments to decide whether he's guilty of sins or not,, but over each one of these heartwarming memories they present they add a sprinkle of light comedy ,, this made the movie look even more appealing.
The cast were all perfect,, it's not the first movie i watch for Tae-hyun Cha ,, i saw him before in Hello Ghost and My Sassy Girl , and he was hilarious,, here they tuned down the comedy to make the character look more miserable and "dead" ;D and of course Jung-woo Ha was amazing too.
Final thought,, the movie is really good,, the screenplay is definitely a 10 and the story leads to a "confirmed" sequel probably coming by the end of this year.. so start watching.
- The film's screenplay is excellent: it grips you from the very first frame.
- The performances of Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi, Ye Soo-jung and Lee Jung-jae are highly impressive.
- The CGI of the film is splendid and is a major reason why the film should be seen in the highest available quality.
- The action sequences are excellently choreographed and very well filmed as well.
- The film has a perfect balance between drama and humour as well. The emotions are excellently brought up and are bound to leave anyone teary-eyed.
- The climax is very powerful and the ending is highly energetic.
- The story is very relatable and is definitely thought-provoking as well.
- Excellent dialogues.
- No vulgarity or obscenity, and totally worth watching with family. Kids will love it!
Repeat value: Infinite
On the whole, ALONG WITH THE GODS: THE TWO WORLDS is a highly entertaining, heartwarming and thought provoking action-fantasy film from South Korea which proves that filmmakers there have the art to master almost every known genre.
I am not spoiling it for you guys.. Go for it..
Don't know the language, i watched it after downloading subtitles of it... Not going to give away any spoilers... Go for it...
All characters placed are well done and there is no need to understand any religion to soak up the plot. As this is based on reincarnation and many don't believe or accept it, the way the plot moves with that theme makes it good.
If you are a movie going person this will be very predictable and still its entertaining. I like they went with the emotional route instead of the action and continuous comedy, do not get me wrong there is action and comedy but distributed evenly across the movie.
All in all its quite a decent movie to watch with family and close ones.
worth to watch at least once in life
I like ha jung-woo the head grim reaper who escorts the hero cha tae-hyun and cute public defender innocent girl Kim Hyang and ju ji-Hoon done very well In the movie. Some dialogues in the movie are touchable the her who try to save Mom from illness and what he done bad on past but he saves life risk his own life to save people. Just watch it just a entertainment.
The first and biggest issue I have with this film is the shallow story. A firefighter dies, arrives in the afterworld and is told that he is an honorable paragon that needs to pass seven trials in order to get reincarnated. One never truly gets told what a paragon is and what makes this particular firefighter so honorable. The trials are announced being in order of the sins of the deceased, starting with the least important and ending with the most important ones. However, several trials in the middle are skipped because this paragon is considered particularly honorable which contradicts what was told right from the start. A recurring element of suspense is that the firefighter's brother died soon after his own death and menaces the balance of the afterworld since he is a vengeful spirit. While it's understandable why the brother wants to take his revenge, it doesn't make any sense how this is related to his brother's trials and the entire afterworld altogether. The cherry atop the cake is that this vengeful spirit later on becomes a paragon himself. The most cringe-worthy moment however is the firefighter's final trial. It turns out he planned killing his own mother as well as his brother before committing suicide when he was a teenager because his family was so poor and his mother really sick. Everybody expects the firefighter to lose the final trial but his mother is visited by his brother's spirit and she takes the blame, calling herself a bad mother and forgiving her son for thinking about killing her. This moral isn't only controversial, it's quite nonsensical as well.
Another issue with this movie are the characters. The firefighter seems like a good guy in the beginning but the more we learn about him, the less likable he gets and it's quite tough to sympathize with him. The three assistants that help him with the trials are also lacking depth. They are only interested in helping the firefighter to get reincarnated themselves and hide the truth about his brother's fate from him for a while before one of them makes a stupid mistake. The different gods that are in charge of the different trials look quite interesting but they only appear for a few minutes and disappear soon after like cameo appearances.
The special effects are overused in this movie. The trials take place in different places like a big cave, a vast desert or a river next to a waterfall. The locations look gorgeous but the transitions between them seem to be random. They change so drastically and often that they can't develop any type of atmosphere. The potential of these locations is often wasted.
On the positive side, the movie has great pace and is entertaining and epic from start to finish. The exposition doesn't waste any time, the trials progress smoothly and the final thirty minutes are a true climax and quite intense. You won't see the two hours and twenty minutes go by. This is great popcorn cinema.
The flashbacks add some depth to the firefighter's background story and tell us a lot about his mother, his brother and himself. These are also the most emotional moments in the movie. Seeing his brother die under tragic circumstances is quite gloomy. Observing the heartbroken mother who has lost her two children in a few weeks and who tries to find out what happened to the firefighter's brother by any means necessary is truly gripping. The best scenes are actually related to the firefighter's brother who tries to appease his mother in her dreams, avenge the person who covered up his murder and save the life of his suicidal colleague.
One can't deny that a lot of budget went into this film that looks quite well. The special effects might be overused but most people will find them exciting. The camera work is focused and avoids the contemporary chic of shaky passages. Lighting techniques are used very efficiently. The soundtrack is quite immersive without being outstanding.
If you like fantasy or science-fiction blockbusters for the whole family, Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds will give you everything you're craving for and can be watched between the latest The Maze Runner and Star Wars movies. If you were expecting a typically Korean movie with many emotional twists, you might find this flick somewhat bland. In my opinion, it's definitely entertaining enough to be watched once but overall rather forgettable popcorn cinema.