Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 3rd, 2017
BluRay released: November 21st, 2017
Approximate running time: 124 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A / Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: Since she was a young girl, Sook-hee’s life has been filled with carnage. And it was during these formative years of her life, that her father was murdered. Unable to move on, she becomes an assassin, who is obsessed with exacting her vengeance against those responsible for her father’s murder.
Just like his previous film Confession of Murder, Byung-gil Jung once again delivers a jaw dropping opening sequence that rivals the hallway sequence from Oldboy. The narrative is meticulously constructed and perfectly paced. And to further enhance the protagonists journey, moments from her past are strategically placed for maximum effect.
Performance wise as good as the cast are in their respective roles. The weight of this film rests on the shoulders of its leading lady Ok-bin Kim (Dasepo Naughty Girls, Thirst) in the role of Sook-hee as an adult. She delivers an utterly convincing performance that superbly realizes her characters’ arc. Another performance of note is Ye-Ji Min’s portrayal of Sook-hee as an adolescent.
Visually the film does not miss a beat. And though the more action oriented moments are bound to be the moments that are most remembered. The more dramatic moments are also superbly realized. And nowhere is this more evident, then during a scene where Sook-hee is visited by someone from her past. This moment is overflowing with tension and how she controls her emotions will determine if she lives or dies.
Though the premise has elements that has been featured in countless other similar themed films. Most notably Luc Besson’s Nikita and to lesser extent Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. The end result is an extraordinary film that transcends any of its perceived influences.
The Villainess 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 remain strong throughout, details look crisp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in Korean, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. This release comes with a wide variety of audio tracks. With the two DTS-HD 5.1 mixes being the more dynamic of the audio mixes. And though there two language options included as part of this release, the Korean language track is the superior presentation of these two. Range wise the two DTS-HD 5.1 mixes sound robust when they need too and the sound effects are well represented. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a slip cover, a teaser for the film (55 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles), a trailer for the film (2 minutes 2 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles), two featurettes’ – Making of: The Action Choreography (2 minutes 36 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles) and Making of: The Characters (1 minute 42 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles).
Other extras include trailers for Triple Threat, Better Watch Out and Train to Busan.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo.
Overall The Villainess gets a strong audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.