Starring Kim Ok-bin, Shin Ha-kyun, Sung Joon, Kim Seo-hyung, Jo Eun-ji, Park Chul-min. Directed by Jung Byung-gil. (2017, 124 min).
The Villainess begins with a truly remarkable action sequence. With guns, knives and her considerable fighting skills, our vengeful main character, Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin), slaughters her way through a warehouse of at-least 50 thugs. It's a long, bloody, nearly unedited set-piece that's crazy, thrilling and masterfully choreographed.
After being apprehended by police immediately afterwards, Sook-hee finds herself in the hands of a mysterious organization (we're to assume it's the government) that trains assassins to do their dirty work. One would think someone already capable of single-handedly killing several dozen men wouldn't require any additional training, but never mind. The viewer might be too overcome by deja vu to fuss over such a minor plot detail.
|Why we have distracted driving laws.|
Storywise, this South Korean film borrows pretty liberally from the likes of La Femme Nikita and Kill Bill, though handled with such panache and audacity that we easily forgive its derivativeness. While the aforementioned opening scene is easily the creative highpoint, there's still plenty of ferocious and exhilarating action throughout the whole film, including a delirious & deadly fight on a speeding city bus. As Sook-hee, Ok-bin carries much of the film on her shoulders and gives us a character that, despite her inherent viciousness (a product of her upbringing), we empathize with and root for.
|"I am NOT missing this bus!"|
Though a bit longish, The Villainess is an exciting, brutal good time. It's nothing new from a narrative standpoint, but loaded with brash, kinetic action sequences presented in a way you likely haven't seen before. That more-than-compensates for any lack of originality. Fans of all sorts of movie mayhem are sure to get a big kick out of it.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE OPTION
PURR-R-R...LIKE A GOOD SCRATCH BEHIND THE EARS
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