KILL BOKSOON on Netflix is a new action-thriller from South Korea. This one is about a single mom who is also an amazing assassin. Think John Wick meets Atomic Blonde with the classic South Korean style to boot. Yeah, it’s awesome. Read our Kill Boksoon movie review here!
KILL BOKSOON is a new Netflix action-thriller from South Korea. In classic South Korean style, it has a runtime of more than two hours (2 hours and 17 minutes), but it works. The reason for this is the character-driven plot, amazing action scenes, and the fact that nobody is “safe”. Oh, and make sure you stick around for the early end-credit scene!
In this movie, the title character is an assassin who goes by this nickname because her name is Gil Bok-soon. Okay, it’s also a play on words since she becomes the target so everyone wants to kill her. Also, a big part of her story is the fact that she’s a single mom and her teenage daughter is the one thing she cannot control.
Continue reading our full Kill Boksoon movie review below. Find the movie on Netflix from March 31, 2023.
John Wick meets Atomic Blonde in South Korea
Gil Bok-soon is a hired killer with a 100% success rate. You’ll see why from the very beginning as she takes care of a “job”. Also, she’s the mother of her teenage daughter, Jae-young, which is something she clearly struggles with. That’s why she decides not to renew her contract with MK Ent. (the top-tier hitman company) to focus on her daughter instead.
However, of course, her very last job doesn’t work out as planned. In fact, it results in her having to break a rule and become a target herself.
When I say that Kill Boksoon is “John Wick meets Atomic Blonde“, I don’t mean to say that it’s a remake or copy of either. In fact, it’s very much its own due to us following the brilliant assassin Gil Bok-soon both “on the job” and at home. There is no doubt that she feels much more in control when she’s fighting for her life than dealing with her daughter, Jae-young.
The human touch
Gil Book-son’s daughter, Jae-young is also struggling with something. That something is her own identity. Or actually, she isn’t struggling at all. She knows she likes girls and is fine with this. She even has a secret relationship with a classmate. What she is struggling with is the fact that everything is a secret.
Also, she has no idea how her mom will react. And while she doesn’t know her mom is a hired killer, she definitely knows her mom is tough. And constantly working.
Meanwhile, Gil Bok-soon herself is worried that her daughter might take after her in the whole “brilliant killer”-department.
And yes, both these issues do become important parts of the story as well. This is exactly what makes the movie much more of a classic South Korean production; The action is breathtaking and brilliantly entertaining, but the characters make the story. The human touch is always paramount!
Jeon Do-yeon is perfect as an action star
The absolute star of this movie is Jeon Do-yeon as Gil Book-son. She is all kinds of awesome and I cannot wait to (hopefully) see her in many more roles of a similar magnitude. She’s made a lot of movies, but I think the first time I saw her was the award-winning thriller Hanyo – The Housemaid (2010).
The role of her daughter is portrayed by Kim Si-ah, who you’ll recognize if you’ve watched Kingdom: Ashin of the North (she played the young Ashin) or The Silent Sea series (both are Netflix series) or the horror-mystery The Closet (2020).
Playing a key role (that will definitely make an impact on viewers) is Esom. You may recognize her from the series Taxi Driver (org. title: Mobeomtaeksi). Also, there’s Koo Kyo-hwan (Peninsula aka Train to Busan 2) and Hwang Jung-min (The Wailing). Finally, Sol Kyung-gu (Idol) is the boss of the whole hired killer business – a sort of union boss, if you will.
Watch Kill Boksoon on Netflix!
Byun Sung-hyun is the writer and director of Kill Boksoon – sometimes under the title “Kill Bok-soon” though not on Netflix. He also directed and co-wrote the 2022 movie Kingmaker. Hopefully, this new Netflix production is only the beginning of Byun Sung-hyun reaching international audiences on the streaming platform.
Not only does this movie have that character-driven storyline that I personally love, but it also has brilliant action scenes and the most amazing visual style. In that, the action scenes often include moments of humor to ensure it doesn’t get too brutal.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is brutal, but just like John Wick and Atomic Blonde it never takes itself too seriously.
For me, Kill Boksoon is the perfect kind of entertainment; Action, thriller, mystery, and fascinating characters that bring everything together. And again, do remember to catch that final scene early on in the end credits. I just hope this movie will become another huge hit for South Korean productions, so Netflix will want to make a sequel. Fingers crossed!
Kill Boksoon is on Netflix globally from March 31, 2023.
Director: Byun Sung-hyun
Writer: Byun Sung-hyun
Cast: Jeon Do-yeon, Sul Kyung-gu, Kim Si-a, Esom, Koo Kyo-hwan
Boksoon leads a double life – she is both a mother of a teenage daughter and the legendary professional killer at the top-tier killing agency MK Ent. Caught in between the mission of killing someone and the mission of raising someone, Boksoon refuses to complete an assigned mission and is thrown into an inevitable fight.