The Villainess

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jonbly
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The Villainess

Post by jonbly » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:24 am

7/10 - An extended remix of Nikita - sharing some of the same set-pieces, but adding more plot and some frenzied (if wobbly) action sequences. At times the frame-rate just isn't adequate for the action. Confusing at times with multiple time-periods and face/name-changes.
Last edited by jonbly on Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

ChrisReynolds
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Re: The Villainess

Post by ChrisReynolds » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:05 am

This one had amazing action scenes but bad storytelling. The extended opening sequence throws down the gauntlet with what is probably the best first-person POV action sequence ever. It puts anything in Hardcore Henry to shame, not least because it achieves it with no visible cuts. However, the film never tops that sequence, despite coming close a few times, and about half an hour in the narrative grinds to a halt as Sook-hee tries to settle into a normal life. There's romance and intrigue in the present and a mystery from the past to navigate, but the modern day romance has long stretches of dialogue that don't advance the plot and the mystery from the past is thrown together in a confusingly haphazard way leaving the viewer constantly trying to guess where in the narrative the film currently is. By the end I could piece everything together but it had become an intellectual experience rather than an emotional one and I didn't care about Sook-hee's quest for vengeance. I'll definitely go back and watch some of the fight scenes again, but I wouldn't rewatch the whole film.

NoneProuder
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Re: The Villainess

Post by NoneProuder » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:48 pm

Agree completely ChrisReynolds. Also, can someone explain why, after 2/3 years of training at HQ, she became much worse at fighting than she was before. This was disappointing because I had high expectations.

svengalidonut
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Re: The Villainess

Post by svengalidonut » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:46 pm

Fair comment, but it was exciting to watch most of the time.

Alex J
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Re: The Villainess

Post by Alex J » Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:56 am

Not entirely what I was expecting with a much slower middle act after a blistering opening. I also found it hard to follow the storyline due to the changes between time periods and characters but maybe that was me being overtired. Overall though, the story was quite good (I think!) and some of the action scenes were superb - just not enough of them! 7.5 / 10
No tears, please. It's a waste of good suffering.

Oswald Cobblepot
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Re: The Villainess

Post by Oswald Cobblepot » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:35 am

Totally agree with what's been said. The opening and closing action scenes along with the samurai sword motorbike chase were amazing, although they were a bit shaky cam and the action geography was a bit off.

But everything in-between was needlessly complicated and convoluted. The play she was in looked bloody awful, it was ridiculous that the audience would be captivated by it. The agency she worked for were spectacularly incompetent, her evil training mate was wasted as a character. At the beginning she's a total badass who can kill about 100 people in ten minutes, then she has 2 years training and totally fucks up 3 missions on the trot. Luc Besson should sue based on the sniper rifle in the toilet mission on what's supposed to be her happiest day scene alone.

As Chris Reynolds said I'd go back and watch the action scenes again, but I'd skip all the melodramatic shenanigans in-between.

danthsmith
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Re: The Villainess

Post by danthsmith » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:17 am

Some pacing issues but terrific. i'm not sure about the shaky cam work though

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TheDukeAbides
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Re: The Villainess

Post by TheDukeAbides » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:19 pm

After an excellent intro it just dragged.

Needlessly complex plot that wasn't as clever as it thought it was and action scenes that really should have been done with a few fixed cameras.

The film I felt let down by most at the festival and that is without reading up much on it.

5/10

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The Soapmaker
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Re: The Villainess

Post by The Soapmaker » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:42 am

Oswald Cobblepot wrote:
Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:35 am
The play she was in looked bloody awful, it was ridiculous that the audience would be captivated by it.
Maybe that's what it's like in the Korean equivalent of Shaftesbury Avenue? It did look extraordinarily static and dull, but theatrical traditions in Japan and China are very different from the West, so Korea is probably similar... this looked like something perhaps traditional in style, but in modern dress.

But anyway... I desperately wanted to like The Villainess, I love Korean films and I'm always glad to see them at Frightfest. But it wasn't one of the better ones, apart from the three big action scenes, and even they suffered from a bit too much shakey-cam.

Good, but it should have been great.

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