While Korea is occupied by the Japanese Army in 1933, the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. But their plan is threatened by a traitor within their group and also the enemies' ... Read allWhile Korea is occupied by the Japanese Army in 1933, the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. But their plan is threatened by a traitor within their group and also the enemies' forces are hunting them down.While Korea is occupied by the Japanese Army in 1933, the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. But their plan is threatened by a traitor within their group and also the enemies' forces are hunting them down.
At the same time, Hawaii Pistol (Ha Jung-Woo) and his accomplice Younggam (Oh Dal-Su), two expert assassins who care only for profit, are hired to eliminate the assassination team, though problems arise when Hawaii Pistol confronts OK-Yoon, and finds himself torn between his mission, and a possible future with his beautiful target.
Unlike Choi-Dong Hoon's The Thieves, where audiences were left guessing which characters had nefarious agendas, the director in this instance reveals the identity of the traitor almost immediately. This however, does not come at the expense of the plot, as we watch how the villain manipulates other characters, and eventually begins to psychologically suffer from living a treacherous existence. Often during the film, audiences are privy to information that characters are denied, and though we acknowledge interconnections between characters that even they know nothing of, further details could have been provided to flesh out the heroes and antagonists alike. As an example, though clues are provided as to why OK-Yoon was given a prison-sentence, a definitive answer is never provided.
Again, unlike The Thieves, the use of humorous dialogue is kept to a minimum, accentuating the morbid tone the film primarily exhibits. The action scenes moreover are very entertaining, heightened by the settings, that are occasionally rarely seen in such a genre, the explosions and gun battles that take place dazzling the screen. At the same time though, these scenes predominately transpire later, the film being more of a war drama, than an action film.
Assassination is set over several decades, the way the multiple narratives intersect to reveal how moments shape the plot, alongside character's lives, accentuating the story. At the same time however, the stereotypical Korean melodrama does render the film predictable, poignant moments in the narrative being capitalized to gather emotive reactions from viewers, the resulting consequences being very foreseeable, which diminishes some of the film's more powerful moments.
The feature is a very typical war film, in that it represents only one side of the confrontation, in this case, the Koreans, who are portrayed as sympathetic victims. This is heightened by the villainous qualities of the antagonists, Japanese soldiers like Kawaguchi (Park Byung-Eun) being visualized as deranged murderers, whose loathsome deeds render them inhuman.
There are occasional moments of beauty to be had over the film, however, much of Assassination demonstrates the horrific violence that transpires, condemning such actions, while embracing the belief, those who can do good, should vehemently do so. Despite The Thieves being a more enjoyable film, Assassination will certainly stay with you, long after it has finished.
- Feb 24, 2016