The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo) (2017)
Critic Consensus: The Villainess offers enough pure kinetic thrills to satisfy genre enthusiasts -- and carve out a bloody niche for itself in modern Korean action cinema.
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Critic Reviews for The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo)
"The Villainess" is little more than an action showcase, with way more scenes of turgid espionage than thrilling set pieces. It's for genre die-hards, not a general audience.
'The Long Kiss Goodnight', 'La Femme Nikita', 'Kill Bill'... this South Korean thriller owes a debt to many a great female-assassin thriller, and it's a fun ride for fans of the genre.
As the carnage mercilessly piles up, we begin to feel nothing. Perhaps that's the point, but it's hard not to want more.
There's a lot of cool knives on display here, but the people doing the stabbing don't really matter.
What is entirely new about The Villainess is that it marries its revenge scenario to a melodrama of maternal sacrifice, with the film's terrific star, Kim Ok-bin, suffering more than Joan Crawford ever did.
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