A female assassin leaves a trail of bodies behind her as she seeks revenge.
Director and writer of “The Villainess,” Jung Byung-gil, does not hold back on the action, violence, or treachery. And his leading lady, Kim Ok-bin, holds it all down, as a deadly force with nothing left to lose. Many of these action flicks are cheap copies of more successful/popular films and are usually all brawn and no brains. While “The Villainess” certainly gets a good deal of its flair from other films like “Kill Bill,” “John Wick,” and others, it still delivers something that is its own.
At times, the plot can be hard to follow, and perhaps this is due to the fact that events aren’t laid out in a linear fashion. It takes a minute to gain your bearings, so just be patient and pay attention, you don’t want to miss a thing.
Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin) tears it up in the first few minutes of the film, kill after kill, after kill. No mercy. It’s uncertain what her goal is but her rage and fury are felt. Sook-hee has been trained and trained well as an assassin since she was a kid. Training which began after her father was murdered in front of her. Her backstory is interwoven throughout. It’s a bit convoluted but convoluted with purpose. After lighting up several dozen people, a government agency snatches her up, gives her a makeover, and lays everything out on the line. They want her to work for them, and if she gives them 10 years of service she’ll be free to live a normal life.
Sook-hee is pregnant and a chance at a normal life is highly appealing. Sook-hee agrees. She trains through the program, picks out a front career as an actress, and eventually gets her first job. Upon successful completion of that job, she is allowed to leave training facility with her daughter. Unbeknownst to her, she’s paired up with a male companion from the agency to keep tabs on her, Jung Hgun-soo (Sung Jun), who is in fact in love with Sook-hee. He’s had his eye on her from day one at the agency big brother style. He has a loveable dork air about him, sweet to the core. He lives next door to Sook-hee and slowly gets closer to her. And this is where revelations and complications begin to take the main stage.
Sook-hee’s past comes back to haunt her. A past she thought was dead and buried. And now her heart and mind are torn between the agency she works for and her former husband (Shin Ha-kyun), and father to her child. Her feelings roll deep. Her intentions are unclear. But whatever they are, there’s nothing but heartbreak and vengeance to follow. Nobody wins. And some definitely lose harder than others. And while you hate to see Sook-hee lose, you can’t look away. Stone-cold looks good on her. She is what makes “The Villainess,” and it is solid.
Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD Tuesday, November 21st