MOVIE REVIEW: The Villainess

Action adventure from Korea.  A young woman who is hell-bent on revenge takes out an entire gang and when captured is brought to a Government facility and transformed into a cold-blooded assassin.  Just before she was captured she was impregnated by her deceased husband.  After years of training and conditioning she is released back to live a normal life and when called upon to kill those who need taking out.  One of the Government’s men is sent to get to know her and be a husband, although she doesn’t know he’s a plant.  We travel back and forth through her life as we live with her new job.

To be honest with you I got to see The Villainess the day after Mother, the Jennifer Lawrence horror, which I didn’t enjoy to put it mildly.  I was down on movies after that.  I just wanted something that was exactly what it was meant to be.  The Villainess was sold to me on the basis that it was an action film, and I’m teary eyed to say that it delivered, this has to be the best damn action movie that I’ve seen in years.

The point five that it lost was down to one thing, the fact that it stole some pieces from Kill Bill, John Wick, and other action movies.  But it’s all done in a way that brings that fresh feeling to action movies.  Korea and Asian cinema in general has this knack of just taking tired genre themes and making sure you get something new.  Other than the borrowing from these films this is about as perfect as you are going to get.  The stars of the film all give their hearts to the characters that they are playing.  The opening scene is done as a first person shooter and rather than being tired it feels as though this is the first time I’ve ever seen it done.  The violence is over the top brilliance and the way that the fight scenes are presented feels natural or at least as natural as they can feel considering the insanity of it all.

But this is no mere film of guns and knives, the drama is not neglected, it’s a huge part of the film, and the performers are there to show you that they can kick ass and also slice through the romance and drama that the film brings during the middle section of the film.

Hollywood would never have the guts to make an action film like this these days, and I’m dreading the inevitable, the Hollywood remake of this.  I’m sure that some pointless starlet will try pick this up and think that a PG13 version of this would be better.  It’s been done as near to perfect as you could want.  Hollywood should stay away.  I want American audiences and every cinema lover across the world to go see The Villainess.

From the camera work, the fight scenes, and a female character who would kick the collective asses of every other female hero you could think of, this will be on my list of top films of the year and will take pride of place in the Blu-Ray collection I won’t give up on.  If you think that action films are all old hat and nothing can bring that feeling of the insanity of 80’s and 90’s action films back well there is a new girl in town and she takes zero prisoners.  Do not miss, if you do, don’t come back!

Directed by Byung-gil Jung
Starring : Eun-ji Jo, Ok-bin Kim, Seo-hyung Kim& more See full cast & crew

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