Step aside Atomic Blonde, there is a new bad ass assassin in town. Starting with John Wick the trend of stuntmen helming action movies continue. It make perfect sense to hand a kinetic action movie to the hand of a stunt man because all the audiences want to see in an action movie, are just the action, period! I hope Hollywood take note. Enough with the momentum-killing drama fillers in action movies!
This movie is bookended with two of the best shot action sequence ever seen in any action movie. This is where the the director Byung-gil Jung, a stuntman turned director shine with his talent in camera kenetic capturing fight choreography. We are talking about angles in capturing the action that has never been seen in any movie before.
The movie start with a bang like a first-person video game from the POV of our lead actress walking in to the den full of villains waiting to slaughter her. At one point during the fight, the camera cleverly break away from the first-person angle and split away from the lead actress and follow the carnage in the room and jumped out of the broken window following our heroine when she fell through the glass window and plunged towards the pavement below.
I thought this movie would be incredible if it manage to carry on the knuckle-biting kinetic of the first 10 minutes action sequence. Unfortunately, the movie grind to a complete halt when the Korean-style melodrama took place following the mind-blowing opening action sequence. What follow might be considered cute or the norm by Korean audiences is translated into pure-cheesiness and squirm-inducing scenes plus smarmy dialogue exchange between the two main leads of the movie. This went on for a better part of 45 minutes before the action picked up again.
The movie had been quite faithful to the Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita storyline for the first hour or so except the lead actress actually had a small daughter in this movie. The twist that moved away from La Femme Nikita started in the last 3rd act of the movie. This is when the tone of the movie turned dark amd the body count started again and carried on relentlessly until the end credit roll up
I have to give credit to the fight sequences and camera movements that capture all the action. It was kinetic, blisteringly raw, and very well choreographed to make it feel real and let you feel like you were in the room being tossed around surronded by all the carnage that’s taking place. These sequences made the fight scenes from Atomic Blonde and John Wick look like a balletic swan dances. As good as the fight choreography in Atomic Blonde were, I felt like I was watching a very well choreographed martial art exhibition. Much like those martial art instructional dvds that you can buy at Amazon.
The fight scenes in Villainess felt immediate, visceral, and raw. You watch people get pummeled and convinced that someone actually got hurt during the big carnage show-down in this movie.
That, my friend, are good action sequences. Go see it for it’s first class, take-no-prisoner action sequences. That alone is worth the price of admission, and then some.