Kill Boksoon features lots of violence and stylized fight scenes in a film about a mother who makes a living for her teen age daughter by working as an assassin. It was so melodramatic it was almost funny, but the mother’s dilemmas raising her teenager were universal.
In Kill Boksoon, the esteemed by her colleagues assassin Gil Bok-soon (Jeon Do-yeon) worked for a company whose business was assassination. This company had recruits, interns, training sessions, and graded the assassins with letter grades. Bok-soon, of course, was an A level assassin.
There were rules to follow. No killing kids, no taking jobs outside the company, and completing any job the company sent you to do.
The company was run by brother and sister team Cha Min Kyu (Sol Kyung-gu) and Cha Min Lee (Esom). Min Kyu tended to protect Bok-soon from breaking the rules and being disciplined like everyone else because he was secretly in love with her.
Gil Jae Yeong (Is-an Kim) was Bok-soon’s daughter. She didn’t know what her mother was. Her biggest problem was a jerk at school who threatened to release photos of her kissing a girl. Yes, girls kissing in a K-drama. I’ve seen plenty of lesbian story lines hinted at in K-dramas, but this one went for the actual kissing.
The relationship between mother and daughter is the heart of the story. All around it are blood spurting killing scenes.
Bok-soon’s advice to her daughter was to be true to herself. Bok-soon takes some of her own advice.
Bok-soon is getting older. She wants out of her contract. The company heads don’t want to lose their best assassin. Then one day she flat out fails to kill the 19 year old she was sent to kill. On purpose.
There’s a showdown as assorted folks within and without the company try to decide what to do with the rule breaking Bok-soon. Her goal is to get out of the company alive and home to her teenager. There’s a lot of opposition to this.
The fight scenes were interesting. Bok-soon had a way of anticipating what her opponent’s next move would be. She might be talking, seemingly peacefully, while scenarios for how the fight might go played in her head.
In one of the final scenes Bok-soon and her boss Min Kyu are working out whether Bok-soon will leave the company. They would settle the question in their unique and bloody way. The song you hear is, “You see this guy? This guy’s in love with you. Yes, I’m in love. Who looks at you the way I do?” Bet that’s the first time Burt Bacharach has ever been used as the background in a fight scene.
I didn’t think this was a great film. It was too over the top. But it was fun in a sort of macabre way because it was over the top. If you choose to watch it, let me know what you think of it.