Hitman Agent Jun is a South Korean movie that sees super special secret agent Jun, Kwon Sang-Woo(“More Than Blue”, “Running Wild”), fake his own death and attempt to live a more peaceful existence by following his life long dream of being a comic book artist.
The trouble is he’s just not very good at creating interesting comics and 15 years later things aren’t looking great, that is until one drunken night he turns his exploits as a member of Shield into a comic.
His wife, Hwang Woo Seul Hye (“Thirst”, “Love+Sling”), decides to send the drawings to his publisher and Joon becomes an overnight success. However when people from his previous life see the comic suddenly things start to unravel.
Choi Won-Sub (“Closer To Heaven”) has managed to write and direct a movie that’s fun to watch and puts an interesting twist on the standard ‘special agent seeking a new life’ story. He injects it with enough humour to make it fun without it being silly or overly slapstick and keeps up the fast pace throughout the whole movie so that you’re never bored.
The movie handles some serious themes; providing for your family, kidnapping and childhood indoctrination but it still manages to be light and funny whilst it does it.
Hitman isn’t the kind of movie where the acting will or needs to win awards, though Sang-Woo plays his part very well and is convincing as the caring dad as much as he is when he’s punching the crap out of a bad guy. Mostly the fight scenes look great though the best are the ones where the camera is further away or maintains a set position so you get to see all the action and not just snippets.
Ji-won Lee who plays the daughter is also quite good, her odd-ball rap-wanabe school girl is believable but she also shows maturity in some scenes that does her character (and acting) credit.
The way parts of the story are told through comic illustration is great too, it helps to break up the movie and brings to life the work of Joon the artist. If I’m completely honest the style of the illustration isn’t my cup of tea but that’s a subjective thing I suppose.
There’s plenty of humour in the movie though there’s no denying that there are parts of it that are a bit too silly, especially towards the end but fortunately these are rare enough to not entirely spoil the film.
Hitman isn’t a Jackie Chan style martial arts comedy, it’s more like a serious film with plenty of humour to lighten it up rather than outright silly. If you like some decent action, plenty of laughs and something a bit different then Hitman Agent Yan should be on your list.
20th January 2020
THE QUICK SELL
While heavily drunk, an unsuccessful comic book writer draws a comic about his life as a former NIS hitman, and runs into trouble when it gets posted online.