The Villainess (2017)

The Villainess (2017)

2017 | 129 Minutes

Action | Drama

A young girl is raised as a killer in the Yanbian province of China. She hides her identity and travels to South Korea where she hopes to lead a quiet life but becomes involved with two mysterious...

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • The Villainess slashes and dashes in stylistic action. Think of this as 'The Raid' meets 'Atomic Blonde' with a sprinkle of 'This Means War'...except this is better than all of them. A woman is recruited by an agency to eliminate specific targets. She must then balance her daily life raising her daughter with a new identity and knifing high profile enemies. Immediately, the action kicks into maximum gear during the opening sequence. I mean wow, what a way to start a story! First person viewpoint shooting, stabbing necks and slashing throats, jumping through windows using bodies as landing pads and then annihilating an endless wave of enemies in a confined space. Boom! I'm in. Have my money. Have my mind. Have my soul! My adrenaline was raised to peak levels. Byung-gil's directing style during the action really captivated me. Extremely stylistic that highlights the gore and expert hand-to-hand combat which were utilised. Natural scene transitions by zooming in on doors or actors to create the illusion of a long one take fight. Bopping and revolving the camera like it's a 90s dance video, it takes some getting used to but it's an exciting visionary aesthetic that appealed to me. Our protagonist is the baddest babe in all of South Korea. Powerful, rapid and full of emotion, a fantastic surprise that allows the character to be emotionally investing. Ok-bin was outstanding and really gave a physically transformative performance. The narrative seems to have a clear split in terms of genres. One half feels like an action thriller and the other is a dramatic romance. The two do not necessarily blend well together, the transitions between them were not seamless and produced some inconsistent pacing. However it allowed the characters to become fully developed, to which is a rare trait to find in modern action flicks. The non-linear narrative and constant flashbacks does confuse the plot occasionally, but stick with it and all questions will be answered...well most of them. All in all, an excellent action thriller that is pumping with pure adrenaline.