TL;DR – This is a film that is hilarious, funny, and had me laughing from start to finish.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
There are many reasons that you may want to go to the movies. You may want a
visual spectacle, an interesting character study, or maybe you just want to
site and laugh your heart out. Well,
today I look at a film that has the distinction of being not one but all of
these things at once. Even better I had no idea about this film before seeing
it, other than the title, so I didn’t know I was about to see one of the best
films of the year when I walked in. Also just a pro-tip, do not go into this
film on an empty stomach, trust me on this one, or at least plan to go get food
the moment the film ends.
So to set the scene, we open on an illegal gambling den as police radios
crackle to life with instructions reminding everyone to limit property damage
as they repel down the side of a building to block off all avenues of escape.
This means no smashing through windows like you are an action star and politely
asking the criminal to turn himself in … and that goes about as well as you can
expect. The whole team Chief Go (Ryu Seung-ryong),
Detective Jang (Lee Hanee), Detective
Young-ho (Lee Dong-hwi), Detective Ma (Jin
Seon-kyu), and Detective Jae-hoon (Gong Myung), chase after the suspect through
the streets of Seoul only for them to have everything fall apart. They are
dragged in front of the Police Superintendent (Kim Eui-sung) and berated for
their incompetence, with the very real chance that their team will be
disbanded. Everyone knows that they are on their last chance when Choi (Song
Young-kyu) the head of a rival police taskforce gives them a tip that Lee
Moo-bae (Shin Ha-kyun) one of Korea’s big
drug players is about to return to the country. So the team has to engage in
the biggest stake-out in their history, and it goes about as well as you
TL;DR – Some of the most fascinating actions sequences I have ever seen, sandwiched between one of the dullest stories I have ever watched. I don’t think I have reviewed a film with such extremes in quality before, it was both fascinating and disappointing all at once.
Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
Wow, I don’t think I have ever come across a film like The Villainess before that had the ability to both deeply interest me and also deeply bore me all in the same film. In a story of two halves, you have some of the most fascinating action sequences I have ever seen put to film, and in the other half a spy revenge tale that was just a slog to get through. On the one hand, having such a discrepancy is interesting to talk about, but also it was really frustrating because you could see such potential squandered so badly.
Wow, just wow, for a long time Netflix has been moving into the movie distribution industry, but so far they really have not put out anything truly remarkable, focusing more on Adam Sandler type movies, when they actually get around to promoting them. So when some friends in the industry mentioned that Okja was the real thing, I was surprised, then I found out that it was made by Bong Joon-ho, whose Snowpiercer was a fascinating film, even if I did have a couple of issues with it. So I loaded up Netflix, put out my lunch, and wondered what we were going to see, and I can honestly say I was not prepared for the feels, in any way shape and form.