The Killer (Jugeodo Doeneun Ai) Image

The Killer (Jugeodo Doeneun Ai)

By Alan Ng | July 17, 2022

Honestly, violence and gore are pretty much what this movie is about. The film’s only weakness is the lack of story depth present in Ji-Woong Nam’s script. The narrative is straightforward. Bang must rescue Anne and stop the bad guys from chasing them for the rest of their lives. There are very few character arcs. Bang’s growth as a human being comes from his interactions with Anne, which may or may not stir up feelings of fatherhood in the end. For the most part, the narrative is all about killing bad guys and a few bad gals.

If there is an arc or art to The Killer, it’s in the construction and progression of the action, which is meant to level up the challenge to Bang like a video game. At first, the numbers are even, and the protagonist can easily defeat his foes. Then it becomes a gang of dozens to increase the difficulty. Now add weapons, starting with knives and then progressing to guns. Then, of course, throw in a car and motorcycle chase. Soon crazy characters fall out of the woodwork, from a crooked cop, Lee Young-ho (Lee Seung-joon), to an over-the-top sniveling henchman who can’t throw a punch to save his life yet is given way too much responsibility.

“…there is so much action that the subtitles will not bother you…”

It then all leads to a final battle between Bang and the mini-boss, who is Bang’s physical and strategic equal. Every move is countered, and they beat one another to a bloody pulp. This battle is a symphony of violence, and the use of guns is unlike anything you’ve seen (at least in American action).

The Killer is like porn (a poor comparison, I’ll admit). You’re only here for the action, but there is a story, and it’s a decent one. But it exists only to move us from one set piece to the next. I know very little about star Jang Hyuk, but he admirably carries the film and action. This guy is an accomplished fighter, and all of the action is shot well, unlike the Bourne series. I think his charisma comes in his fighting skills more than his acting, but he has an early Tom Cruise vibe. If you just want action, then Choi’s feature is for you. In fact, there is so much action that the subtitles will not bother you in the slightest.

The Killer (2022)

Directed: Jae-Hoon Choi

Written: Ji-Woong Nam

Starring: Jang Hyuk, Seo-young Lee, Bang Eun-Jung, Lee Seung-joon, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

The Killer Image

"…a symphony of violence, and the use of guns is unlike anything you've seen..."

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