Kill Boksoon is a new Netflix film written and directed by Byun Sung-hyun, starring Jeon Do-Yeon, Sol Kyung-gu, Esom, Koo Kyo-hwan, and Kim Si-a. It is a sleek South Korean crime/action drama that revolves around the life of Boksoon, a world-renowned assassin as she has to deal with being a parent to a teenage daughter.
Her conflicts which make her realize that being a parent is more emotionally challenging than being an assassin physically - is what the film deals largely with. It has a runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes.
This film has a lot of things going for it. It is firstly very well directed and shot. Every single action sequence in the film felt like it was sleek and smooth. It felt ragged enough to not look like it was scripted yet it was smooth enough to feel like a dance of violence. There's a lot to unpack here in terms of great production design, well-written characters, and a good plot. The shooting methodology though was my favorite of all.
Getting more into the plot. There is a company called MK with a chairman known as Cha. He started the company when he realized that the crime of killing or assassination had become far too unregulated. He devised a plan to enforce rules within the killing community such that the killers are ranked based on their skill and given jobs (which they call shows) that aren't too inhumane. This was 8 years ago from where the film is currently set.
Now there's a bunch of companies in the assassination business and chairman Cha's MK pays its A-class assassins the big bucks. Their top killer is our protagonist, mother by day and killer by night Gil Boksoon. She's been in the business for long enough and done well enough to be glorified and paid the big bucks.
The opening scene of the film shows her skill and wit very well as she faces off with a Yakuza boss. She lets him have a samurai sword by stating that her daughter said that things should be fair and hence she's letting it be fair. The fight ends in a fun manner that I'd not spoil for you here.
The film works very well I felt, the characters have a decent depth, and the plot is interesting enough for you to not want to switch to something else. The sleek way business is handled in the MK syndicate is super cool to watch too. The film has some really smoothly shot-fight sequences. The choreography in the fights is very fluid and works exceptionally well. It seemed like something out of a fight-grounded anime. There is one sequence specifically when Boksoon is evoked to spar with one of the young emerging MK members. That scene has a long shot that extends through the fight sequence with barely enough cuts. It was a joy to watch.
The film focuses equally on both sides of Boksoon's life, dealing with her rather annoying daughter as well as dealing with her rather demanding job. It all develops to a great intensity by the end. If I had to describe the film, I'd describe it as a John Wick-esque film that works because of its character dynamics.
The actors do their job well, and Boksoon is particularly my favorite just because of how cool she is. She doesn't flinch in any tough calls and is overall legendary as a character.
If you like action-oriented dramas which also include spy sub-themes. This film is a treat and definitely worth every minute of your time.
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