Director: Yong-hwa Kim.
This is going to be hard to write about this without spoiling the first part, which if you haven’t seen, I strongly suggest you do, especially before reading this review. And I also suggest reading my review of the first part, plugging myself there. Both films were actually filmed as one and gladly released separately having a combined running time of 281minutes (I would seriously consider watching both as one which might warped my perception of the film(s)
You see, this film obviously continues immediate after The Two Worlds which was only released a matter of months ago. (Come on Marvel, keep up!) and had left us on a rather amusing cliffhanger. A cliffhanger which is gratefully explored here and isn’t just a cameo. But before I go into story details let’s recap or introduce the key points for those who haven’t seen The Two Worlds or read my review.
You die, get greeted by guardians who protect, guide and defend you while you traverse the different realms of hell on route to a hopeful reincarnation if your guardians manage to prove you worthy. The story is originally based on the.. ahh look, please read my prior review here which was hard enough to write up in the first place. I gave it a 9/10 for interest sake. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds
The outcome of the first soul has been concluded and so this film has a new soul and for those of you that have seen the first, you might be surprised at the choice the guardians take; and because of this choice a risky deal with certainly conditions is made between the guardians and Yeomra, the God King of Death.
Much like the first film, even though one part of the story has been fulfilled, a number of stories open up in its place, this time delving deeper into the guardian’s ancient history and how they came to be. Prepare for some shocking, though sometimes predictable revelations. Unfortunately, much of this detaches itself from the enhancement of the first and in comparison the action is shorter and the court room drama less, engaging.
The action is still good, but just isn’t enough of it in comparison; and the trails felt cut like parts were missing, or rushed. I wanted more of what captivated me the first time around and this just lacks the impact or feels weak in those key parts.
The performances are obviously very much the same as before, as is the production and recycled set pieces, which is totally acceptable. But the historical scenes is something new and is what totally separates the this from the first instalment, even though the first contains hints, they’re nothing more than just that.
Obviously the proper introduction of Dong-seok’s character of household god, Seongju, is a nice addition but I can’t go into too much detail without spoiling both films. All I can say is that Dong-seok is brilliant having prior knowledge to who the guardians really are. Just don’t be expecting too much of his Train to Busan and you’ll enjoy his character.
This is definitely a sequel that needs to be watched only after seeing the first part, especially as it’s not strictly a sequel and just the second part of the whole film. But as a direct comparison, I sadly wasn’t emotionally invested as the first, as much of what made the first part so good felt watered down here. It’s just as long, in fact only ever so slightly longer but isn’t boring.
Whilst it doesn’t match or reaches the same highs as the first part, it’s still very much entertaining, again, with so much going on, it’s impossible to lose interest. It definitely makes me want to watch the first again and fans should still enjoy this, but sadly, the first film, as proven here, is going to be tough one to top.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 7
The Extra Bonus Point: 0