The Villainess, Korean Movie (2017)

There is a particular type of film in the action genre that I am very fond of: the revenge movie. I always love it when someone loses everything and then turns into a complete psycho, hellbent on getting revenge on his or her tormentors. Usually that makes for a very entertaining, albeit often bloody, movie experience. As with any film genre there is always a risk that there are too many movies that are being made and as such it becomes either predictable or very boring. The South Korean movie industry certainly is no stranger to this particular type of film. In the past, movies such as Old Boy, I Saw the Devil andΒ A Company ManΒ have all been received very well (while at the same time causing quite a stir because of the often extreme violence depicted in those movies). No matter how you look at it, I have always thought that the Koreans are masters of the genre, and I always look forward to a new entry into the ranks. Last year The Villainess was released, that supposedly infused the revenge movie with a new and fresh take on it. Having just seen the film, I have mixed feelings about it, but more on that later.

image
Some people take the “till death do us part thing” way to literally.

The Villainess can best be described as South Korea’s take on La Femme Nikita. It focusses on a woman named Sook-hee who is a highly trained assassin. As a young girl she lost her father to an unknown assailant and witnessed him being killed while hiding under her bed. The face of the killer is unknown to her, but she does hear him whistle an eerie tune. Years later Sook-hee is captured by South Korea’s intelligence agency and given a new identity and name: Yeon-soo. While she is being trained by them, she gives birth to her daughter Eun-hye. Yeon-soo is offered the deal to work for the intelligence agency, and after 10 years she will gain her freedom for herself and her daughter. Having very little choice she accepts. But the shadow of her father’s death always looms over her. Eventually the past creeps up on her as it usually tends to do in these matters. With people gunning for her at every turn, the life expectancy of the skilled assassin becomes ever shorter. But Yeon-soo will not go down without a fight…

image
When the airconditioning of your car doesn’t work this is a great alternative.

The opening sequence of this film puts you smack down right in the middle of the action. Without even knowing exactly what is going on, we see a fight sequence from a first person view as Sook-hee hacks, shoots and punches her way through a group of men in a warehouse. It is chaotic, bloody, brutal, but honestly a truly terrific way of setting the tone for this film. Where this film excels at is it’s uniquely choreographed fight sequences. The camera angles in some of the scenes are really one of a kind, and at times it feels almost as if you are the one that is delivering all of the violence. And there is a word that also describes this film very well: violence. This movie is not for the faint of heart. It doesn’t shy away from showing arteries being ruptured, limbs being cut off, and blood spraying in every direction. The Villainess is a brutal movie but as usual this does suit the theme of the film. If it’s action you want, this film brings it and then some. Be especially on the look out for a highspeed motorcycle chase that I found to be one of the best scenes of the film.

image
What do you mean you forgot the bread to feed the ducks? Go home and get it!

The hero of the film (if you can call her that of course) is being played by actress Kim Ok-vin and she does it well. Or to phrase it better: she knows how to kick some ass. A film like this stands or falls with a good lead, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. In the fight sequences she shines the most as she is able to hold her own against the men that are trying to take her life. And she manages to do so with guns, knives and her bare hands. It all feels natural and realistic and you could almost believe she is an assassin in real life. Her character hasn’t got much depth to it, but admittedly the bond with her young daughter is what gives this otherwise very bleak movie at least a little bit of sunshine. This movie pretty much centers around her, and that’s why the supporting cast, such as it is, doesn’t really get a chance to show what they are made of. That is certainly one of the weak points of the film.

image
If looks could kill, I would be dead right now.

Another one is the story itself. At times it’s very confusing to follow what exactly is going on. The film uses a lot of flashback scenes, which is not a bad thing in itself, but at times it seems to insert them almost randomly. Not only that but sometimes you get one right after another and in a totally different time frame. That took me out of the film quite a few times and left me looking at the screen in bewilderment. While the action in movies like this is usually the most important, I do have to say that in revengethrillers especially it’s nice to have at least some kind of motive for the main character. In that this film partially succeeded but it could have been handled better. With all of it’s flaws I still recommend seeing this movie if you like these type of films. The action sequences alone make it a very worthwhile watch, as in this it really does try to do something totally different than what we are used to seeing. Don’t expect to much from it, and you will have a great time. Especially if you like to see a strong woman beat the crap out of a bunch of men.

I give the Villainess a 7 out of 10 score.

 

Advertisements

60 thoughts on “The Villainess, Korean Movie (2017)”

    1. So…every week I clean up my spam filter for my blog and rescue comments that aren’t supposed to be in there. Imagine my surprise when I found this one in there. It has happened to me so many times in the past: seriously annoying at times (wordpress has it’s issues). So in case you wondered: Nope I wasn’t ignoring you, I just saw this comment seconds ago: but in total fear for my life I rescued it from the spam bots. Sorry about that 😊
      Thank you for the kind words: Glad you enjoyed the review. It was a fun film. But wow no watching movies huh? Well..that’s really okay πŸ˜€ We all have our own things we like to do (and in my case I just have way too many things I like to do: which is why I always have too little time on my hands lol. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). Thanks for your comment!

      Like

      1. Hahaha there are so many comments of mine in the various blogs which have been treated like spam bots. I ask every blogger to check their spam folder everyday.

        After our interactions, I never had a doubt that you would dare to ignore meπŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I would set Nicole on you. She knows everything, she sees everything.. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ And she is at work so I can say this hehehe.
        Thank you for rescuing my comment

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I at one time wrote two posts about it. Every comment I wrote disappeared at some point, and I had no idea what was going on…until I learned they disappeared in the spam filters. Since then I check my filter once or twice a week for things like that
        Phew…glad you did not doubt that 😊😊 And…looking over my shoulder here….I’m pretty sure Nicole will learn about this comment…Maybe I should cover it up with my magic power of invisibility πŸ˜‚

        Like

      3. Hehehe try it… Nothing works.. I have checked.. She has a radar about all these things… She is from a far off planet, sometimes I think. She knows too much… She says she is geeky I have a funny feeling she is alien…. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hmmm….well…I never said I was human either (mysterious smile lolπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚). So I have my own mysterious powers. Maybe Nicole has finally met her match…
        (Oh boy if she does read this, I’m going to be in serious trouble πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚).

        Like

    1. Haha…she certainly was bad ass and the highlight of the movie, that’s for sure. But true enough, I hate being confused too (in fact I am at times confused from myself, so I can understand that lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚).
      Thanks…honestly the captions are always the hardest parts to think up, but I am glad you liked it 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I do like such stories (I loved Kill Bill) but I was wary of watching The Villainess because it looked too violent and I think Korean films tend to be a lot more violent than other language films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah you certainly have a point there. Not all Korean films are like that ( I highly recommend watching the zombiefilm Last Train to Busan, which is an amazing movie, and the best Korean movie that I have ever seen, and certainly not just another zombiefilm). But there are certainly quite a number of violent Korean movies out there (Old Boy is one of them). This one, though violent, is not near as bad as that one though. So..it’s hard to say, but honestly the fight scenes alone make this worth giving it a shot. Thanks for your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the recommendation! Have heard many good things about Train To Busan…will give it a try some day (after I complete my pending drama list!) πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is on my watch list… I love action with some revenge in movies as well… But I’m a bit hesitant in watching this, because sometimes if the shots of the scenes are in first person point of view i get a bit uneasy and I always end up having a headache (ahaha… am i weird?). But still I’m intrigue on how the movie goes, I will try this soon~

    Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…well let me put your mind at ease…you are not weird. I hear a lot of people have trouble with that, so I would not worry. Luckily not every scene in this film is shot in first person. Only the scene in the beginning and near the end. But, true enough this is a fun enough film for the action alone. So I hope you will enjoy it. And ofcourse thanks so much for the kind words: always appreciate it πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well guess what, we finished watching it last night! And I survived the first 9 minutes of it with one eye open! LOL! Wah~ There were too many events that happened! And it was a cool film. πŸ˜€ And you’re welcome!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You watched it already? Wow that is so cool…and I am even more glad that you liked the film as well, and survived those first 9 minutes lolπŸ˜‚ This comment made my day πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi…I just commented on your latest post, but it disappeared, which means it’s in your spamfilter. It’s very annoying, and this just keeps happening, and pretty much the only way I can let people know is by leaving a reply on my own blog, so here it is πŸ™‚ So if your are looking for my comment on your last post, you can find it in the spamfilter. Ugh…wordpress why do you keep doing this? 😭

      Like

      1. Hahaha…really had to laugh at this: but I totally agree,: You married well πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
        Well, if she loves those films, she most certainly will enjoy this one πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha…Loved this enthusiastic reply. Really with the amount of films on offer…you are forgiven to miss out on stuff. (Hell I know that I probaby missed hundreds of films). Goodluck finding it, and I hope you will enjoy it. If you don’t have too high expectations for it, I’m pretty sure that you are going to like it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly would have helped. I don’t mind the occasional flashback if handled correctly, but this at times felt like those last seasons of Lost where the audience also got erm…lost. Still the fight sequence make up for a lot, so there is that 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw thanks so much for the kind words, and visiting my blog 😘😘❀️ And yes she looks bad ass, and the film is pretty bad ass too. Just like a certain person I know of…hmm gee I wonder who that could beπŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Like

      1. Well..visit any time, always nice to see you here, and no worries about the WP issues, we all seem to have them these days 😘😘❀️❀️

        Like

    1. Haha: your to watch/to read list is probably just as big as mine is lol. Sorry to be adding stuff to it πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      And really thank you again for your kind words and comment: you are just too kind 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are right these kind of movies and the tragic ending genre are what Korean films have mastered to portray! I watched a similiar kind of movie some time ago and the review is coming soon! Great review again !

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this sounds like a Kill Bill type movie (which is so awesome). πŸ™‚
    Sounds like a rather cool film πŸ™‚ I love films about women on a mission and women on the rampage πŸ™‚ They always beat watching a chick flick, any old day πŸ˜€ hehe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was a fun film. If they would have handled the story part just a little bit better, it could have become something really cool. But despite that there is enough to like, especially if you enjoy watching this type of film. Lol…pretty much anything beats watching a chick flick πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. OMG OMG YOURE BACKK!!! Okay okay *breaathe* HAHA sorry got a little excited here ! πŸ‘πŸ‘ And youre back reviewing one of my fave movies LOOL I just loved every fighting scene in this one 😍❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha..thank you for your enthusiastic welcome back 😊😊 This comment really made me smile πŸ˜€
      Yes I am back (I think about two weeks or so now πŸ˜‰), and I have been having a blast. Wonderful to be back and talk to everyone again 😊
      As for the film: the fight scenes were seriously cool indeed, really original and very unique πŸ˜€πŸ˜€

      Like

    1. Haha, thank you. Let me tell you a secret: I always find them the hardest to do in a post. Glad to hear that they make you laugh.
      Totally agree. I love revenge/vengeance films, and the crow is definitely one those that was very, very good. I also liked the Equalizer with Denzel Washington and of course John Wick with Keanu Reeves 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Awesome review, sir. It sure does sound like a fun action-packed movie. Saw the trailer for it and wow, is she bad-ass. 😍 I wasn’t too fond of the first-person action scenes though. I never liked that style, and was a bit repulsed by movies that were 100% first-person. I think first-person should be a thing only in video games hahah At least this movie wasn’t entirely in that style! πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…she really is bad-ass and absolutely one of the best reasons to watch this movie. I totally agree about movies being in first person style. If that would have continued for the entire movie I would definitely not have continued watching it, as I would go completely mad lol. But for a nice change of pace at times it was very original. Thanks as always for you kind words and awesome comment πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s