The super-fast Kill Boxoon combines anti-hero action with the juxtaposition of parental guilt.
All relationships in boxing are complicated. From her teenage daughter to her boss with an ex, to her friends-with-benefits, to her openly jealous co-workers.
Planning is also difficult because you need to run errands to get to the grocery store before closing – dinner won’t make itself! For Korean women, after having a child, she is known as “so-and-so’s mother,” losing her personal identity to the role and creating a clear conflict for the career woman and single parent.
The story brings the plight of the mother – she tries to set a good example, even if her career is quite dubious.
Her daughter is constantly questioning herself and attending classes taught at school, which is easy to preach as a child. As she tries to maintain openness with the rapidly closing teenager, the parent’s guilt increases. He was confused about how to welcome a girl who wanted to be true to herself, even if it wasn’t entirely socially acceptable—perhaps with the facade she hoped to put on.
There’s plenty of girl power in this movie, too, making femme fatales — and other strong women — a household concept. But even an A-rank assassin has to follow the rules, and they’re getting stricter all the time. You can watch his head spin as he anticipates the potential consequences of each deadly battle.
Likewise, Boksoon anticipates conversations at home about cigarettes, friends, possible expulsion from school. Being able to break down a number of scenarios helps him find the best fit, even if none of them are pretty. His goal, of course, is to lead his daughter to a better life than she already has, and he does not fall into her domain without any inclination.
Boksoon is played by Jeon Do-Yeon, who recently starred in Ashfall, Beasts Clawing at Straws, Emergency Declaration, and directed the K-drama version, among others. But the Cannes Best Actress winner is best known for The Housemaid.
Kim Si-a appears as his daughter, as well as in the drama Ashfall, The Silent Sea (Netflix). Illustrated by Assassins MK CEO Sol Kyung-gu. Always a strong watch, Esom plays the sister of the mischievous and quirky MK director and CEO.
Director Byun Sung-hyun helmed the political drama Kingmaker (Netflix), among others – you can imagine his top 10 list starting around Kill Bill and perhaps somewhere close to the Deadpool franchise. Even with the film’s gore, it’s not above taking emotional risks with its complex relationships and well-rounded characters.
It’s smart, fast, humorous with fantastic visuals and a bit of moral. It simultaneously charms and brings home the grim reality of the underworld lifestyle.