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Ko - production in Busan
  • THE VILLAINESS Singled Out for Terrific Action at Cannes
  • by Pierce Conran /  May 25, 2017
  • JUNG Byung-gil’s Midnighter Bows to Strong Response from Genre Fans

    One of two Korean films playing in the Midnight Screenings of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, The Villainess had its world premiere on May 21st and despite its 12:30 am start and 130 minutes running time, its intense action, which has been roundly praised by critics, easily kept the audience in the Grand Théâtre Lumière awake.

    The third film by Confession of Murder (2012) director JUNG Byung-gil and starring KIM Ok-vin as a trained assassin who embarks on a bloody quest for revenge, The Villainess was described as a “high-adrenaline tale of fighting, shooting, stabbing and killing interrupted by quiet stretches of backstory and character development” by The Hollywood Reporter, which reflected many viewers’ opinions. Yet some, such as Screen International, were satisfied overall, as they wrote that the film was a “satisfyingly convoluted revenge thriller in which the dynamically staged, blood-drenched action sequences are a highlight rather than the film’s sole raison d’être.” 

    Lead KIM drew plenty of praise for her convincing turn as an action star, with Screen International weighing in that she “proves that she could give Scarlett Johansson or Angelina Jolie a run for their money.”

    Summing up the film, The Playlist wrote that “It’s clear that JUNG Byung-gil has a firm handle on action, but the director will have to straighten out his storytelling before he can join PARK Chan-wook, BONG Joon-ho and KIM Jee-woon and others in the big leagues as name brand South Korean filmmakers.”
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