The Villainess is a South Korean action film directed by Byung- Gil Jung. The plot follows assassin Sook- hee (Ok-Bin Kim), as she joins up with the South Korean intelligence service to order to hunt her husbands’ killer.
The action is well done, I especially enjoyed the first-person action sequence at the start of the film. I thought the brutality of the film added to its overall feel, it gave the film a gritty take no prisoners sort of attitude that really helps to define it.
The plot keeps you guessing it is full of twists and turns, however I would say that it is overstuffed. There is so much exposition, back story, and flash backs which are all pivotal to the narrative, it is a lot, also if you lose track you will be lost.
I enjoyed the lead performance I thought OK-Bin Kim did a good job, she was cool and badass, whilst also having a vulnerable streak that makes her very easy to root for and cheer on.
My main issue with this film is that it has major pacing issues, parts of it drag and feel like they’re overdone for the stake of being stylised. I feel It could do with being about half an hour shorter as it stands it feels like it has a lot of bloat.
You can see how this film has inspired others that have come after it (John Wick 3), and how it has been inspired by other classic action films (Old Boy, The Raid, Leon).
Overall, this is a nicely stylised action film that has a few pacing issues but is still well worth the watch.
A homage to other classic action films
A strong lead
The story has a bit too much going on and is often confusing.