The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo) Reviews

September 18, 2017
With a body count in triple digits before the opening credits finish, the bloodily inventive fight sequences work better than the emotional scenes here - and sensible shoes aside, director Jung Byung-gil doesn't bring much new to the genre.
September 14, 2017
A propulsive, wildly entertaining and hyperkinetic action flick.
September 14, 2017
"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.
September 12, 2017
It's the amazing fights and precisely-executed choreography which make up for the shaky storytelling: whether it is a battle with swords, a night motorbike chase or an axe clash in a bus pelting at full speed, there are undoubtably great moments here.
September 11, 2017
'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.
September 7, 2017
As the carnage mercilessly piles up, we begin to feel nothing. Perhaps that's the point, but it's hard not to want more.
August 25, 2017
There's a lot of cool knives on display here, but the people doing the stabbing don't really matter.
August 24, 2017
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.
Top Critic
August 24, 2017
Jung shreds a simple story and then weaves the pieces into an intricate tapestry of flashbacks and pure-action scenes, with the individual strands often sewn together by pictorial rhymes.
August 24, 2017
While I'm generally inclined to applaud an action movie that seeks to be more than just an exercise in carnage, "The Villainess" turns wearyingly stop-and-go whenever it tries to fill in the void of its protagonist's emotional and psychological history.
August 24, 2017
It's hard to enjoy the action when you witness its emotional cost, but once Sook-hee starts slashing goons from atop motorcycles, it's equally impossible to root for the violence to stop.
August 24, 2017
Ping-ponging from gonzo action to domestic drama to spy thriller and culminating in an electrifying showdown aboard a speeding bus, The Villainess delivers all the overstuffed thrills we've come to expect from Korean action cinema.
August 23, 2017
The setpieces in The Villainess never lose that initial vibrant you-are-there dexterity.
August 22, 2017
The Villainess is entertaining enough, but it's hard to shake the feeling that we should be caring more for this character as the film goes on, not less.
July 21, 2017
Byung's inability to string together a coherent narrative is nearly offset by his gift for staging some bonkers scenes of death and destruction.
July 2, 2017
"The Villainess" ... succeeds in being one-of-a-kind for its delirious action choreography and overall narrative dementia.
June 29, 2017
The action sequences are astonishing. I have never seen camerawork like it. I'm not sure how it was done, but the spectacle is bold.
May 22, 2017
A high-adrenaline tale of fighting, shooting, stabbing and killing interrupted by quiet stretches of backstory and character development.