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“Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds” The Good, the Bad and the Guardians' Past:
No more Cha Tae-hyun's firefighter character Ja-hong in this one. As was made clear during the ending of the first movie, this time the story focuses on his younger brother, Su-hong (Kim Dong-wook).
Basically "Along with the Gods" is one four-hour plus long movie split into two, the first part was meant to introduce the afterlife and the guardians' role in reincarnating souls. Now with all that out of the way, the second part moves on to answering all the mysteries that were teased in the earlier movie.
Despite this technically being one and the same movie, this second half of "Along with the Gods", known in some territories as "Along with the Gods 2: The Last 49 Days" (some markets omit the 2), carries almost the opposite tone, meaning there's less crying and more laughing with this one.
The first movie had its funny moments but it was first and foremost a tearjerker, what with its very emotional storyline. While the first movie opened with a sad scene (the tragic death of Ja-hong), this second movie opens on a lighter note (Hewonmak already throwing in one of his many rib-tickling lines in the movie) and that sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
There will be some sentimental scenes, especially where the guardians' past is concerned, but they don't get bogged down with melancholic drama as there are lighter moments woven in between that will perk the audience right up again and keep them rooted to their seats for the whole two hours plus.
This time around, Leader of the Guardians, Kang-lim (Ha Jung-woo), is the one who stays behind in the afterlife to defend Su-hong during the paragon's trial while Security Specialist Hewonmak (Ju Ji-hoon) and Assistant Guardian Deok-choon (Kim Hyang-gi) are sent to the human world to take care of an issue there. The issue being a Household God, Sung-ju (Don Lee), who steadfastly refuses to let the old man in the current house he is guarding to die. Every guardian who was tasked to ascend his soul had been defeated by Sung-ju, so Hewonmak and Deok-choon have their work cut out for them here.
But while in the first movie, Kang-lim's interference in the human world was more frown-inducing, Hewonmak and Deok-choon's are less so. There's plenty of laughter to be had as the two try to bargain with Sung-ju on letting them do their task. Their time in the human world only gets more interesting when they find out Sung-ju could help them uncover their erased past.
As for Kang-lim and Su-hong, their journey is shorter compared to Ja-hong's since Su-hong doesn't have to go through all the trials due to his wrongful death (and Kang-lim is a terrific lawyer). Su-hong is the opposite of his older brother, he has no wish to be reincarnated and is quite nonchalant of his trial. He also has an inquisitive mind, he's the one analysing and interrogating Kang-lim especially since the latter insists on his reincarnation even as he refuses it. As his trial progresses, he manages to make Kang-lim reveal more of the guardian's own past, and when he figures out his real reason of being there, he again just nonchalantly accepts his fate.
It could be seen that the visual and special effects teams put in even more effort in this movie because while the first movie's effect was already impressive, this one even more so. The fight scene between Hewonmak and Sung-ju was remarkable, as it packs so much swift effect-laden action despite being a very short scene.
The twists and turns in this movie will have the audience in awe, right up to the very end of the movie. So remember to stay seated until the end credits really start rolling at the end of the movie - or you'll be missing out on more important details of the story. Yes, the story will grip you till the end, and lingers in your mind after you leave the cinema, because there will be much to unravel in "Along with the Gods 2". Trivia:
• Both parts of the "Along with the Gods" movie was shot back-to-back but released about six months apart.
• The snow scene was actually filmed in the studio so salt was used in lieu of real snow.
• Private Won (EXO's Do Kyung-soo) reappears in this second movie and has a more substantial screentime compared to the other minor characters that also makes a reappearance.Cinema Online, 03 September 2018