Watched: 5 October

I was left a little frustrated by this South Korean action film, which stars Kim Ok-bin as Sook-hee, a ruthless and highly-skilled assassin who is co-opted into employment as a sleeper agent for the national intelligence agency. On the one hand there are a few balletic and smartly-edited action sequences contained within the two-hour running time that make the more celebrated John Wick films look utterly leaden and lumpen by comparison: witness the film’s fleet-footed opening, for example, which marries a Doom-like first-person videogame point of view with the Oldboy corridor fight scene for a whole ten minutes, during which I lost count of the number of disposable henchmen who are disposably de-henched; or even the stunning sword fight that involves three people on the back of three motorbikes as they bomb through a tunnel at high speed; or the sensationally-choreographed final battle that occurs on and around a bus as it hurtles through the city at night. These are all undoubtedly cleverly executed from a technical standpoint and a lot of fun to sit through if you’re a fan of action movies. However, they all sit within a sprawling mess of a movie that never seems to settle and instead moves back and forth in time so often that you rarely know where you are, at least in terms of a first viewing anyway. I’d probably give it a more positive review if I were to watch it again, but then in all honesty I doubt very much that I’ll ever bother, as the impact of those terrific action scenes would almost certainly be diminished through familiarity. Ho hum. (**½)

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