The Villainess (2017)
October 14, 2017 4:45 AM - Subscribe

A young woman, raised from childhood to be a killer, is co-opted as an assassin by the Korean secret service.

I found this film quite astonishing - in its physical brutality (from the first frame, in an extended first-person solo assault on a building full of henchmen, to the last, following a wrenching axe fight aboard a bus), but also in its intense emotional overwroughtness. What came to mind for me was Jacobean tragedy as much as anything else. There are all sorts of details that I suspect viewers might have difficulty with - one character's maternity and a another's creepiness among them - but to me they are ingredients in a soup of bloody emotional turmoil. The film is certainly knowing enough that it's shot through with references to its most obvious comparators - Nikita and Kill Bill Vol 1 come most readily to mind - yet confident enough to ultimately be its own beast. See it now, before the inevitable disappointing Hollywood remake in five years' time.
posted by Grangousier (1 comment total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I loved it - it seems to be dividing people (every review is either "Holy hell this movie set my balls on fire!" or "humph, fatally tonally erractic") and I'm firmly pro. What a spectacle, with a great leading actress holding down the main role. Like Atomic Blonde plus Days of Our Lives.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 3:25 PM on October 18, 2017 [2 favorites]

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