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Along With The Gods 2: The Last 49 Days
与神同行2: 终极审判

Opening Date
22 Aug 2018
PG13 Some Violence
141 mins
Korean with English & Chinese subtitles
Kim Yong-hwa
Ha Jung-Woo, Ju Ji-Hoon, Kim Hyang-Gi, Kim Dong-Wook, Lee Jung-Jae, Ma Dong-Seok
Angels of death Gang Rim (Ha Jung-Woo), Hae Won Maek (Ju Ji-Hoon) and Duk Choon (Kim Hyang-Gi) are about to take part in Soo-Hong’s (Kim Dong-Wook) trial. The 3 angels of death meet God of House (Ma Dong-Seok). He remembers their past which stretches over 1,000 years ago. Traveling between this world and the next world and the past, the angels of death try to find their secret relationship.
By Say Peng  21 Aug 2018
With plenty of both action and heartfelt drama, Along With The Gods 2: The Last 49 Days delivers, checking most of the boxes of what makes a good commercial entertainment. It may well become Korea’s first action fantasy franchise in the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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In Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, the first installment of what will be (at least for now) a four-movie franchise based on the popular webcomic of the same name, we follow a paragon of the virtue (defined in the movie as someone who has led a virtuous life), recently deceased firefighter Kim Ja-hong in the afterlife, where guardian Gang-rim (Ha Jung-woo) and two of his assistants, Haewonmak (Ju Ji-hoon) and Lee Deok-choon (Kim Hyang-gi), have to fight their way through hell’s treacherous terrains and face seven trials with seven gods of the underworld in order that Kim may be reincarnated.

The second installment, The Last 49 Days, picks up immediately from the ending of the first movie. (It is recommended that viewers catch up on the first movie before they watch Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days.) After the successful reincarnation of Kim, they are left with one more soul to reincarnate before they themselves can be reincarnated. The next and final soul, the 49th soul and paragon of virtue, that they have to lead successfully to reincarnation is, not coincidentally, Kim’s brother, Kim Soo-hong, who appeared in the first movie as an avenging spirit wreaking havoc in the human world, following his painful death - he was buried alive by his captain and sergeant.

Gang-rim desperately wants to try to help Soo-hong be reincarnated and implores King Yeomra, the king of the afterlife, for the chance to do so. Reluctantly granting Gang-rim his permission, Yeomra demands in exchange that they reap an old man who has overstayed his time on earth thanks to the efforts of a house god,  Seongju (Don Lee), who has been prolonging the old man’s life. Given that Gang-rim does not have the time to both lead Kim through the seven trials and reap the old man, Gang-rim dispatches his two assistants to reap the old man while he remains in the afterlife. The movie thus breaks into two main plots.

It turns out that Seongju has been prolonging the old man’s life because of his concern for the future of the old man’s young grandson, to whom he has effectively become a surrogate uncle. Moved by Seongju’s love for the young boy, Haewonmak and Lee Deok-choon decide to help him instead, to find a solution to ensure the young boy’s future.

Nothing is a coincidence, and everything and everyone is related, in this movie. It is revealed that Seongju used to be a guardian before; in fact, he was the one who had ascended both Haewonmak and Lee. Hitherto unaware that their memories have been erased, Haewonmak and Lee demand to know their past lives. Concurrently, Kim also demands to know more about Gang-rim. And thus, the movie branches off into its third main plot, a flashback of Gang-rim, Haewonmak and Lee in their previous lives in 10th century Korea, revealing how the three of them ended up together in the afterlife - and more.

Whilst the first movie was relatively more straightforward and focused as a fantasy actioner, the second movie has the burden of unspooling a mass of plot details to explain the backstories of the events in the first and second movie, and is therefore a lot more heavy on exposition. There are relatively less action sequences in the second movie (visual effects are still aplenty), so fans of the first movie’s over-the-top fight sequences may be disappointed. To make up for the shortfall of action is plenty of down-to-earth heartfelt drama, in particular, that of how Seongju and the two guardians try to help the young boy.

Despite its overstuffed script, The Last 49 Days delivers, checking most of the boxes of what makes a good commercial entertainment. It may well become Korea’s first action fantasy franchise in the vein of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
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