I’ve never reviewed a K-movie before. Mostly because, until my ten hour flights to and back from the UK, I’d never seen one. Entertainment was by some miracle free on my flights, and I stumbled across this film on my way back. Now, I did choose to watch it because it had Jo Jin-Woong and Jeon Ji-Hyun in it, but I was mightily glad they did act in it. It made it that much better. I give it 4/5 on characters, a 5/5 on plot and a 4/5 on philosophy.
BTW this is a short review as I want to go light fireworks. Happy Fourth, the entire section below contains spoilers!
still courtesy of Showbox via Hollywood Reporter
Assassination takes place during the 1930s, while Japan occupies Korea and the entire world embroils itself in WWII. Korea at this time reminds me of Bath, England–a conglomeration of history all mashed together in one spot. Traditional clothing, palanquins, trolleys and guns… it’s like the Wild West all mashed up together with east Asia. I’ve gotten the same sense before in a drama (Joseon Gunman), but I’m getting really interested in just how much of that is accurate to the times.
Earlier I gave this movie a 4/5 on philosophy. I didn’t really notice an outstanding undercurrent theme (or I was just really, really tired of being in an airplane at that point) but it captured the philosophies of the era so well, I think, that it deserves the 4. Besides the mentalities portrayed, there was a spark in the gray matter at the end, when she killed the guy. You know the one I’m talking about if you’ve seen it–the one who messed up all their lives and never got convicted. Murder is never a condonable act, but dangit if those lines don’t feel so blurred right at the end of a war.
Basically, this was a pretty good watch with fantastic actors and a twisted plot. It toed that line between complex and convoluted, but did it masterfully. After the betrayal I was never at a loss as to who was on which side, which kept me invested in the characters and twists.
To end, I’d recommend it to anyone interested in WWII without a squeamish stomach, looking for a slick shot, action packed few hours. The ending goes a bit Hamlet, but strangely I didn’t mind so much. It was an (almost) good kind of sad. Final rating: 8/10.
featured image and above poster via asianwiki