‘Mission: Save the girl’
The Killer is a 2022 Korean action crime thriller about a hitman who is trying to retire but has to save a teenage girl from gangsters.
Directed by Choi Jae-Hoon [최재훈] (The Hypnosis; The Swordsman) from a screenplay written by Ji-Woong Nam, based on an online comic.
The Ascendio production stars Jang Hyuk (장혁), Seo-young Lee (이서영), Bruce Khan (브루스 칸), Lee Seung-Joon (이승준) and Bang Eun-Jung (방은정).
Ui-gang (Jang Hyuk) is a hit man who has decided to retire. He owns a decent property and all the money he needs, but one day his wife takes a trip to Jeju Island and leaves him with a request. Her companion on the trip has a seventeen-year-old daughter Yoon-ji (Seo-young Lee) who will be left alone during their three-week vacation. Ui-gang reluctantly agrees to look after Yoon-ji.
However, she soon gets into trouble. Yoon-ji is not a bad kid, but she makes some poor choices, and before she realises it, she finds herself in a situation far more dangerous than she ever imagined. But just as Yoon-ji is in over her head, her captors too will find themselves with more than they can handle when Ui-gang shows up to take her home…
“The idea behind The Killer is solid and clean. While it’s not an absolute revenge tale, the direction and story remain steady from start to finish. Take all of the guesswork out with this one. Pull out the popcorn and get ready from some blood, amazing martial arts choreography and a few laughs.” 4.5 out of 5, Horror Movies Uncut
“The action matters more than any of the routine plotting or characters […] Choi stages them with distinct types of dynamism (a faux one-take down a hallway and the camera rotating around those axe-wielders, as examples), even if some instances of rapid-fire editing undercut the clear physical prowess of the performers.” 3 out of 4, Mark Reviews Movies
“The action scenes here are exhilarating and executed with skill. They have a panache not seen in Hollywood. This is perhaps because Hyuk is doing his own stunts, bringing some real authenticity to the action. The sound editing is fantastic, making you feel the impact of every blow. The soundtrack’s rock energy both complements and heightens every tense moment…” Pajiba
“The Killer is a stylish actioner with endless attitude and swagger. The visual appeal is impressive as Hyuk takes on waves of enemies to bold and vibrant backdrops. There surely are familiar elements to this movie but the skilled and imaginative choreography, the gritty martial arts, and frequent gunplay equals a satisfying film that will definitely entertain fans of the subgenre.” Rating: 90% The Silverscreen Analysis
“One of several solid Korean action films to screen this year at Fantasia, The Killer has no real mystery to solve, the plot simply reveals details as needed to get the characters from one fight to the next. This is one to just turn off your brain and enjoy the mayhem.” 4 out of 5, Voices from the Balcony
“The first act of The Killer is so intent on stating and restating its premise that by the time the action kicks in, it’s been easy to forget what type of film it’s supposed to be. But as Jang kicks and punches and shoots his way through mansions and warehouses full of gangsters, there’s an unparalleled liveliness that makes it hard not to long for a sharper script or at least a less complicated one.” The Wrap
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