Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Vivamax: Review of DELIVER US FROM EVIL (2020): Hitman Has a Heart

May 26, 2021

Korean ace hitman In-nam (Hwang Jung-min) just finished his last job which involved the killing of a notorious Japanese mobster. Meanwhile in Thailand, In-nam's ex-lover Young-joo (Choi Hee-seo) was murdered while her 9 year-old daughter Yoo-min (Park So-yi) was kidnapped by a gang of organ traffickers. When he found out that Yoo-min was actually his daughter, In-man went to Bangkok to find the little girl.

To make In-man's rescue mission even more complicated and dangerous, a ruthless Japanese murderer named Ray (Lee Jung-jae), famous for being a sadistic butcher to hung his victims like a pig before cutting him open, also went to Bangkok on In-man's trail. Ray was going after him to exact revenge because the last man In-man killed, Koraeda (KĊsuke Toyohara), turned out to be Ray's brother.

The plot was pretty familiar -- a gangster with a heart trope, a father willing to do everything for his daughter. With his tough yet kind face, Hwang Jung-min, a Korean superstar who headlined hit films like "Ode to My Father" (2014), "The Veteran" (2015), and "The Wailing" (2016), really fit that bill, effortlessly it would seem. His scenes with the children, like cute Park So-yi as Yoo-min or that Thai boy with a missing kidney, can break even the hardest hearts.

Lee Jung-jae, star of "The Thieves" (2012) and the "Along with the Gods" films (2017, 2018), was fearsome as the ruthless Ray. Every scene with him in them dripped with tension for what violence he was about to wreak. All the fight scenes between Lee and Hwang were frenetic and brutal, so well-choreographed, just like a Korean version of "Taken" or "John Wick". The action did get too over-the-top as the two stars were just that tough to kill.

In a remarkable scene-stealing role was Park Jung-min in the role of Yui, a transgender woman who helped In-man. This was quite a novel idea for such genre as it gave a different emotional dimension than if she was a real female. The touch of sad humor in Park's character that gave the film a little relief from all its intensity. His performance did not go unnoticed, winning to date three Best Supporting Actor awards, including the Baeksang. 7/10.

1 comment:

  1. Lee Jung-Jae scenes and look are great. I'd bet they must have had a joyful cinephile time preparino and performing his scene. Such 'tarantinian' strong vibe is noticeable to me