My Cultural Diet

465 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
The Killer

The Killer by Choi Jae-Hoon

Not to be confused with David Fincher or John Woo’s films, Choi Jae-hoon’s The Killer follows a hitman who’s roped into looking after his wife’s friend’s seventeen-year-old daughter. What should be an easy babysitting job turns dark, however, when the young girl gets lured into a sex trafficking ring, and the hitman must use his deadly skills to save her. Oh, and the film is a comedy… sort of. I watched this on Amazon Prime because I wanted a slick-looking action film, and there are, indeed, some very impressive action sequences. With his wardrobe, impeccable hair, and droll demeanor (which occasionally recalls “Beat” Takeshi Kitano), Jang Hyuk looks cooler than cool mowing down thugs, pimps, and other ne’er-do-wells. I just wish he was in a better film. In one scene, one of The Killer’s characters references Lee Jeong-beom’s The Man from Nowhere, arguably the best “deadly man protecting a young girl” movie ever made. I’m unsure if Choi Jae-hoon intended The Killer to be a parody of The Man from Nowhere or an attempt to create a similarly hard-boiled film, and that ambiguity is frustrating. In the end, The Killer’s tonal shifts and various implausibilities prove to be just a bit too much.


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