'Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds' - Movie Review

A young Korean firefighter dies saving the life of a young girl. He's taken to the Buddhist afterlife, where he's to be judged in seven trials to determine if he's worthy of reincarnation, and assisted by three grim reapers (alternatively known as "guardians") who help defend him against the prosecutors. The movie claims for him the title of "paragon," but in every trial we see the dubious decisions he's made during his life ... most of which turn out to be justifiable in dramatic reversals.

I saw a substantial similarity to the 1943 classic "Heaven Can Wait," which sees a recently deceased gentleman giving his life story to the devil because he's sure he deserves to spend eternity in Hell. But when I enumerate the differences between that movie and this one, you may not agree with my assessment ... Our nominal hero is extremely uncommunicative, not the talkative star of "Heaven Can Wait:" he doesn't help his guardians for shit, and appears to believe he deserves punishment (that at least is the same). This movie is also action-packed: the journeys between the trials are eventful, and the lead guardian has to return to the real world to hunt down a vengeful spirit that's indirectly interfering with the trials. It's loaded with fantasy action.

Silliness and sentimentality abound, and if you like your movies overstuffed and over-emotional, this may work for you. I found it entertaining, but a second similar movie would be far too much so I won't be returning for the equally successful sequel that burned up the Korean box office. It's every bit as absurd as Bollywood ... except without the musical numbers. Try "Heaven Can Wait" instead, it's a better movie.