With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Monday, November 30, 2015

ASSASSINATION reviewed; debuts on home video tomorrow

Well Go USA
Directed by CHOI Dong-hoon
South Korea, 2015, 139 minutes

Assassination is an epic action film from director CHOI Dong-hoon. It debuts  tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital HD on December 1st from Well Go USA Entertainment. This review is based on watching the Blu-ray version.

Set primarily in 1933, when Korea was a colony of Japan, the film tells the tale of three Koreans tasked by the Korean Provisional Government with a deadly mission. Captain Yem (LEE Jung-jae, Il Mare, New World) is the resistance fighter who recruits sharpshooter Ahn Okyun (actress Gianna Jun, a.k.a. JUN Ji-hyun, Blood: The Last Vampire, The Thieves), Chu Sang-ok  (also known as "Big Gun"), and Hwang Duk-am (CHOI Deok-moon, The Admiral). Their targets are Japanese general Kawaguchi Mamoru, who led the massacre of over 3,000 Koreans in Manchuria, and Kang In-guk, the leading pro-Japanese lapdog.

Ahn expects the operation to take five minutes and for the three to come back alive. Unfortunately, the plan goes awry because there is a traitor within the ranks of the Korean Provisional government. He has arranged for a team of hit men, "Hawaii Pistol (HA Jung-woo, Kundo: Age of the Rampant) and his partner (played by OH Dal-soo, Oldboy, The Attorney).

Director CHOI Dong-hoon's is perhaps best know in the West for his 2012 hit The Thieves, which was Korea’s biggest box office hit of that year. His other films are The Big Swindle (2004), Tazza: The High Rollers (2006) and Woochi (2009). Gianna Jun and LEE Jung-jae both starred in The Thieves.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio: Korean DTS 5.1 HDMA or 2.0 stereo
-- Subtitles: English / Off
-- Extras: trailer for assassination and three other Well Go USA releases (Memories of the Sword, The Pirates, and The Thieves)

Assassination is a beautiful period piece with great acting, opulent sets and terrific action sequences, especially a lengthy shoot-out at a wedding. It has exciting plot twists and makes for great entertainment. Even with the paucity of extras, it's most definitely a release that's well-worth owning.

AsianCineFest Rating: 4 out of 4 stars; most highly recommended.

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