The Villainess (" Ak-Nyeo")
- South Korea
- 129 mins
- English (subtitles)
Hosted by Director/Co-Writer/Producer Jung Byung-gil
Since childhood, Sook-hee (Kim Ok-vin) has learned just one thing: how to kill. After seeing her father murdered, she was taken under the wing of Joong-sang (Shin Ha-kyun), a cold but charming assassin. He trained her to mastery of weapons and martial arts, to kill without mercy — and to be his lover. However, on the very day of the wedding, Joong-sang loses his life while on a mission. Sook-hee sets about wreaking vengeance on those who have widowed her.
After the massacre, she is captured and taken to a strange hospital housing only women dedicating their time to combat skills — and to social reintegration. Sook-hee is informed that she is pregnant, and that she will henceforth act as a sleeper agent for the government. Ten years of service, and she and her daughter are free. But in the field on an assassination mission, peering through her rifle's scope, she discovers that her target is none other than Joong-sang. Betrayed on all sides, her vengeance will be devastating.
An official selection at the Cannes festival's midnight program this year, THE VILLAINESS delivers a massive adrenaline jolt. Right from its incredible first-person-POV opening scene, in which the heroine takes down literally dozens of dirtbags in record time, there is no shaking the tight grip of this innovative thriller recalling LA FEMME NIKITA and KILL BILL, dosed with the rage of OLDBOY. Director, producer and co-writer Jung Byung-gil (CONFESSIONS OF MURDER), plants his flag as a new giant in action cinema with this ever more astounding whirlwind. Actress Kim Ok-vin (THIRST), who conducts most of her own stunts, delivers a powerhouse performance, equally vulnerable and vicious. Buckle in and take a deep breath — but nothing can prepare you for THE VILLAINESS.
- translated by Rupert Bottenberg