ReviewWriter: Florey DMWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard”, “The Restless”, “My Way” The Good, the Bad and the Paragon :
Cha Tae-hyun leaves his comedic "Sassy Girl" act at the door and channels his most humbly heroic persona in "Along with the Gods". Cha plays firefighter Kim Ja-hong, a man who dies (that's no spoiler, that's the push that will start the wheel in motion since his tale takes place mostly in the afterlife) and is hailed as a paragon the moment he is summoned for his seven trials in front of the gods that will decide whether he is worthy of reincarnation.
Cha is just one among the many star-studded cast members that deliver a praise-worthy performance in character. There's also Ha Jung-woo as the Leader of the Guardians Kang-lim, Ju Ji-hoon as Security Specialist Hewonmak, Kim Hyang-gi as Assistant Guardian Deok-Choon and Kim Dong-wook as Ja-hong's brother, Soo-hong.
Supporting characters such as Private Won played by Do Kyung-soo ("Cart", "Room No. 7") and the Great Taesan played by Kim Su-an ("Train to Busan", "Battleship Island") may get limited screen time but these actors make good use of the time they're given.
The movie is based on the South Korean web comics of the same name by Joo Ho-min. Not many outside of South Korea might be familiar with the web comics, so it's safe to say that it can be enjoyed without prior reading of them.
Being an action movie, it starts off intense and the intensity carries on throughout the whole two hours of it but don't worry, despite its intensity, it still knows how to lighten the mood with comedic moments interjecting the plot from time to time, lest the audience gets stressed out or bored by a monotonous mood.
Those who tend to cry at the slightest melodramatic moment in Korean dramas though, be advised to bring at least a box of tissue with you, this movie will wring the tears out of you. Expect to be taken on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, you'll find yourself either laughing, crying, or just silently staring in awe at what is presented before you as the story unfolds.
You might even find yourself reflecting on the life you've led by the end of it all as the movie packs quite a punch with its message of living life the good and proper way. The storyline is easy enough to follow despite the twists and turns but not so easy that you find yourself yawning at the simplicity of it.
The visual effects bolster the storytelling, as effects are wont to do in today's films. To fully experience them, it is best to watch the movie on the big screen, watching even on laptop screens just won't do it justice, as a lot of precise details will be lost. The effects are meant to be watched in awe and in awe you will be from the moment firefighter Ja-hong leaps onto the screen doing his heroic saving down to the last moment of his judgement during his trials.
It is already made aware that there will be a follow-up to this movie. This is after all only the first part, with the second part releasing mid-2018. So the main plot's ending will give a clue on how the next movie will proceed with the story. Trivia:
• "Along with the Gods" is split into two parts, this is the first part "Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds" while the second part "Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days" is set for a summer 2018 release.
• The cast liked to eat "a lot of good food" on set to lessen the stress of filming the intense movie.Cinema Online, 11 January 2018