The Killer was a pleasant surprise that I had no expectations for so I was blown away by the awesome fights and brutal kills making this easily one of the best action movies of the year.
Plot: Ui-gang is a hit man who has decided to retire. He has a nice house 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 17-year old daughter Yoon-ji who will be left alone during their three week vacation. Ui-gang reluctantly agrees to look after Yoon-ji and make sure she doesn’t get into trouble. But she does get into trouble. Yoon-ji is not a bad kid, but she makes some poor choices, and before she realizes 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.
Review: I love when a movie starts right in the middle of a fight scene and the new South Korean actioner The Killer does just that and rarely lets up for its brisk 90 minute runtime.
I had no expectations for this movie but it’s ended up being one of the best action pictures of the year with regular brutal fight scenes and a wonderfully ruthless protagonist in Bang Ui-gang (Jang Hyuk) who seems to really enjoy his job. He is a stoic badass who shows no remorse for his life as a killer and he is utterly merciless with anyone who gets in his way. I think Bang Ui-gang is one of my favourite characters of recent times as you really shouldn’t like him due to his profession but he is simply magnetic.
The story itself is nothing new with a hitman being charged with protecting a young girl except by the end of this movie he hasn’t changed his ways and literally smiles while executing people, which is a bold twist.
The action is incredibly stylish giving off John Wick vibes at times and we rarely go more than a few minutes before we get a brutal beatdown or shoot-out. It also isn’t without a sense of humour with some witty dialogue and Jang Hyuk’s face rarely cracking; any time he does laugh or smile it’s usually because he’s about to kill someone.
Overall, The Killer is one of the best action movies of the year with a quick runtime, regular fights and a huge bodycount; so if you’re looking for a hard R actioner this delivers the goods.