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The Villainess: An Excellent Action Film That’s Worth a Watch

May 14, 2020
You’ll see some excellent hallway fights

The opening of The Villainess features an insane first-person style brawl that features 52 henchmen getting wiped out by a badass assassin. It’s a wild scene that features four stages of henchmen being stabbed, gutted, shot, slashed and murdered. It’s a gnarly battle that director Jung Byung-gil was able to pull off because of his stunts background, and ability to rally seemingly all of South Korea’s stuntmen. It’s a neat way to start the $5 million budgeted action film, and it lets us know what we’re in for (a whole lot of violence).

It’s tough to write about The Villainess, and not spoil anything, so, I’m just going to say it’s about a woman named Sook-hee (Kim Ok-bin) killing the absolute ever living crap out of many people. The film showcases her journey from killer to trained assassin who endures double crosses, murder attempts and secret missions. The middle of the film dives into melodrama as Sook-hee attempts to live a normal life, however, her short-lived domestic life sets up a killer finale on a runaway bus.

The finale is bonkers.

Jung Byung-gil was inspired by Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita, and he set out to make an action film that features peerless action that is genderless and never boring. He succeeded, and in an ultimate compliment, Chad Stahelski, the director John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum loved the motorcycle scene in The Villainess so much, he included one of his own in John Wick 3.

What I love about The Villainess is how it was able to stretch its $5 million budget. The movie has an epic feel, and it punches above its weight as it treats us to a plethora of inventive action scenes. I wish I could’ve been on set as the creators wrapped their heads around all the insane action scenes. Also, I’d love to see Kim Ok-bin (she’s great in Thirst BTW) kill more people in future installments, and hopefully the success of this film will create more opportunities for female-led South Korean action films.

The Villainess is currently streaming on Hulu. Check it out!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2020 4:48 pm

    Was lucky enough to see this with an audience at a festival. Excellent action scenes

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