The plot to assassinate Japanese high ranking officers takes a group of Korean agents into spiral of betrayal. It is told in surprisingly large scale, shifting back and forth to events preceding and following its historic attempt told by numerous characters. In heart, it is an excellent drama with focus on stylish noir cinematography and slick visceral action.
Story admittedly takes a bit to gain momentum. There's an intricate web of espionage and it might get overwhelming with its many timelines and characters. The back stabbing or direct front shooting could get confusing early on. Fortunately, after it sets the foundation the pace pushes forward relentlessly until the end. Ji-hyun Jun as An Ohk-Yun the lady sniper is impeccable, she's attractive on-screen and also looking very capable for the demanding spy role.
Acting is great all around, considering there are many intersecting personalities, everyone plays their part amicably and these characters are presentably memorable. It offers a few subplots, which might seem overly dramatic or cliché at first, although the presentation is adequately precise in ensuring that it remains a legitimate drama thriller.
The action is superb, capitalizing its last century setting and multitude of fancy oriental scenes. Barrage of bullets and deception are portrayed with massive intensity. It plays with fight scenes as well as gun-slinging action remarkably well. Furthermore, the slick nature resembles the quirky bloody showing from Tarantino movies, the flamboyant flair is a treat for action fans.
There's no lack of treachery, vengeance and sheer animosity in the harsh era which may feel overburdened at times. Still, with exquisite human drama and solid action, Assassination keeps the aim steady to deliver a delightfully exhilarating spy thriller.
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