Holy Crap… I mean god damn… The Villainess… Where do I start??
Director: Jung Byung-Gil
Cast: Kim Ok-Vin, Shin Ha-Kyun, Bang Sung-Jun
Its been a while since a foreign language movie came out that truly blew me away, probably the Raid being the last one and we all know how much I gush over that movie. The Villainess brings us all the things I loved about The Raid and some intricate clever plot points that echo Infernal Affairs sprinkled with some Nikita, add all this together and you get a damn good movie that is in serious danger of being in my Top5 movies of 2017.
The awesome folks at Arrow Video have brought us a shiny awesome Blu Ray and DVD release of this instant classic and its out today. Spoilers (I normally save this bit till the end) I absolutely Recommend this movie to any fan of Korean Cinema, Action Fight Sequences, Stunning Choreography, Great Story Telling and a powerful as hell leading lady.
I am not going to go to in depth with the Villainess because it would completely spoil the flick and this needs to be seen so I will give you the setup… We open the movie with a 10 minute Hardcore Henry inspired first person Shoot-y Punch-y Kick-y sequence. This whole opening is bloody gorgeous, its fast, frantic, frenetic and shot with perfect style and pace, the movement from first person to third is flawless. This is where we meet Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin, Thirst) on a bloody rampage to take revenge on her fathers killer. Towards the end of her spree she loses consciousness and awakes at the National Intelligence Service where she is being recruited to take on high priority killings. She really isn’t interested but knows this probably her only chance of survival. That’s as much as I am going to tell you so for more you will need to see it but hopefully that’s enough to have your interest piqued.
I have one gripe with the Villainess and one only. The plot while very much standing on its own does feel a little bit borrowed (but you can say that about anything). What makes up for that is the awesome choreography in the fighting sequences which is just gorgeous to watch, the cinematography is great, when you actually feel like you have been inserted into the fight… Well that is perfection on screen. The talent in this flick is just great, Kim Ok-Bin is incredible I bought every emotion she was pouring out on screen. There is a fascinating love story at the heart of this movie aswell. You see while she is a bad ass assassin she also has a small child which was enough for me to start with but when moving into her new home she meets a man who is just too good to be true (of course there is a twist to that character) and I loved every second they shared on screen, especially the interactions with the little girl. That kid broke my heart in some scenes.
So yes I massively recommend this flick and I have been dying to bring you my review. The movie looks gorgeous on Blu Ray and showcases some kick ass leading ladies (which I am a fan of). There are not a ton of special features to talk about but one that really gave me a kick was an Audio Commentary with filmmakers and Hosts of the Arrow Video Podcast Sam Ashurst and Dan Martin, if you have not given there Podcast a listen I absolutely recommend you do so… After listening to 365Flicks Podcast of course. Out today on Blu Ray and DVD, go buy it you wont regret it.