Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 22nd, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: South Korea, 2015
Director: Dong-hoon Choi
Cast: Ji-hyun Jun, Jung-woo Ha, Jung-jae Lee, Jin-woong Jo, Dal-su Oh, Kyeong-yeong Lee, Duek-mun Choi, Kyung Jin, Eui-sung Kim, Byung-eun Park, Hong-Fa Kim, Seung-woo Cho, Hae-suk Kim
BluRay released: December 1st, 2015
Approximate running time: 139 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korea
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: When the opportunity presents itself to assassinate a Japanese commander, three resistance fighters are given what appears a routine assignment. Unknown to them there is a traitor in their midst. Will his treachery lead to their demise or will they against all odds completer their mission?
Narrative wise though the bulk of the film takes place during 1933. There are a handful of flashbacks and a flash forwards, most notably the film’s finale which revolves around traitor who is put on trial a few years after the World War II ended. At just under two and half of hours in duration this film efficiently covers a lot of ground. And most importantly when it comes to the timeline transitions, this film does a great ensuring that they are never intrusive. Also when it comes to pacing things are moving forward with an immediacy that ensures that there is never a dull moment.
From a production stand point this film delivers the goods and then some, the film’s visual are rock solid and the retro era production design is superbly realized. And when it comes to the characters portrayed in this film they are well defined. As mentioned before one of this film’s strengths are its visuals and perhaps no scene shine brighter than a scene where one of the assassins pretends to be the bride so she can gain access to the targets they need to eliminate.
And when it comes to the performances the entire cast are all great in their respective roles. With this film’s standout performance being Ji-hyun Jun (My Sassy Girl, Uninvited) in the dual role of twin sisters, one sister who continued to live with her traitor father who aligned himself with the Japanese and the other sister who was believed to be dead, but has since become one of Korea’s best sniper’s. Other notable performances include, Jung-woo Ha (The Chaser) in the role of gun for hire named Hawaii Pistol and Dal-su Oh (Traffickers) in the role of Hawaii Pistol’s right hand man.
Director Dong-hoon Choi follows up his fast paced crime caper The Thieves, with Assassination a masterfully executed historical drama.
Assassination comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels and shadow detail look consistently strong and details always look sharp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean. It should be noted that besides Korean, this film also features moments in Japanese, English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Both audio mixes sound great as they sound robust when they need too, dialog is always easy to follow and everything sounds balanced. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film and trailers for other titles also available from Well Go USA. Overall Assassination gets a solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.