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18 rating
  • strong bloody violence, gory images
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The Villainess

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The Villainess 18 rating

Jung Byung-gil's superb, hyper-kinetic action thriller follows a female assassin who takes a new identity but finds her past life inescapable.

Thriller 2017 124 mins

Overview

When criminal assassin Sook-hee is apprehended by the South Korean Intelligence Agency she's offered a chance to start over; a new identity as a government-sanctioned killer with the promise of complete freedom after ten years' service. But Sook-hee's ties to the criminal underworld run deep and connect to her very sense of self.

While Jung Byung-gil's insanely kinetic action thriller tips a nod to the female assassins of films like Kill Bill and Nikita, Sook-hee is presented here as a fully realised female character struggling with issues around motherhood, her family past and her own femininity. It's Jung's feel for such deftly drawn characterisation, amid some of the most preposterously choreographed action sequences since The Raid, that distinguish the film as a high-quality action spectacle; one that was selected for a prestigious Midnight Screening slot at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.