Pinterest
NewsLetter DailyWeekly
 
My HanCinema | Sign up, Why ? Your E-mail   Password    Auto| Help
HanCinema :: The Korean Movie and Drama Database, discover the South Korean cinema and drama diversity Contact HanCinema HanCinema on TwitterFaceBook HanCinema PageHanCinema on Twitter

[HanCinema's Film Review] "Hitman: Agent Jun"

2020/03/14

The title to "Hitman: Agent Jun" is somewhat misleading. Much like the nineties-era action movies which marks the film's obvious inspiration, the title character (played by Kwon Sang-woo) goes through disproportionate effort to avoid actually killing anybody. He actually ends up even going further than that. Agent Jun's very cool opening setpiece action moves ends with him gleefully taking the first chance available to ditch South Korea's horrific secret government program to transform orphans into super soldiers.

Whoa there, you might be thinking. Isn't that kind of grim? Well, yes, yes it is. Which is another place where the movie's nineties era origins are difficult to ignore. In a world where most movies at least pretend to have moral ambiguity when it comes to functionally brainwashed super soldiers, "Hitman: Agent Jun" just accepts its premise uncritically and even jokingly. After all, Agent Jun's dream is to be a professional webtoon artist. That's why he quit his boring day job of super spy action stuff.

"Hitman: Agent Jun" gets a lot more comedy than it rightly deserves just off the absurd contrast in this premise. Agent Jun's long suffering wife Mina (played by Hwang Wool-seul-hye) has to be the breadwinner off of her fairly meager high school art teacher salary. Their teenage daughter Ga-yeong (played by Lee Ji-won-I) rapes about the domestic squabbles prompted by fighting over money. These scenes are sweet and at times even tender, making Agent Jun a surprisingly relatable character.

So when the secret action hero stuff crashes back into the story it's a bit of a rude shock. I was expecting more of a comedy of errors where Agent Jun must resort to increasingly implausible schemes to fend off enemies aware of his true identity without alerting his family as to what's going on. But instead Agent Jun gets stuck between two antagonistic forces right away and, eh, it's all right as a set-up goes. It just wasn't as interesting as what I was expecting.

The comedy only rarely goes as far as it can or should. Both the secret government program and the terrorists are for the most part portrayed as highly competent and terrifying where a more bumbling portrayal would be funnier. One highlight is a scene where Agent Jun is forced to abruptly turn his car around- technically complying with his wife's instructions, in spite of her immediate fury, and also enraging the terrorists who have no choice but to impotently wait for Agent Jun's return because their entire plan hinges on his physical presence.

"Hitman: Agent Jun" also suffers from having characters who are either underutilized or underdeveloped. Deok-hyoo (played by Jung Joon-ho) is supposed to be this fearsome headmaster character but outside of the opening sequence and the very excellent webtoon collages we never see him exert much gravitas. Cheol (played by Lee Yi-kyung) is supposedly one of Agent Jun's best friends from his spy days but the two rarely ever even talk, suggesting that maybe a whole subplot may have been edited out of the movie.

Review by William Schwartz

___________

"Hitman: Agent Jun" is directed by Choi Won-Sub, and features Kwon Sang-woo, Jung Joon-ho, Hwang Woo-seul-hye, Lee Yi-kyung, Lee Ji-won-I, Heo Sung-tae. Release date in Korea: 2020/01/22.

 

Copy & paste guideline for this article
Always put a link back to the source and HanCinema permalink

Creative Commons License"[HanCinema's Film Review] "Hitman: Agent Jun""
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Related movies/dramas

Attention You're reading the news with potential spoilers, make them spoiler free, dismiss


 

 

 Previous news

Subscribe to HanCinema Pure to remove ads from the website (not for episode and movie videos) for US$0.99 monthly or US$7.99 yearly (you can cancel anytime). The first step is to be a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show up.

Settings

Remove ads

Sign up

Sharing

Activate

Spoilers

Visible, hide

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

About | Privacy policy | Contact | Partners

Mobile version