Deliver Us from Evil – Review by Jamie Matthew MacDonald

Director Won-Chan Hong takes a rather exhausted genre and breathes new life into it

One last job, then assassin for hire In-Nam played by Hwang Jung-Min is going to retire. This is easier said than done. The brother of that last hit Ray the Butcher (played by scene stealer Lee Jung-Jae) is now in relentless pursuit of him. He also now needs to travel to Thailand, in order to solve the kidnapping of a young girl, which may be linked to him in some way. This is Deliver us from Evil. A very slickly made film, where nothing is what it seems in this revenge thriller from Writer/Director Won-Chan Hong…

From the start to the finish it is compelling viewing. Director Won-Chan Hong takes a rather exhausted genre and breathes new life into it. He's gathered together an impressive cast. The two leads - Hwang Jung-Min and Lee Jung-Jae are at the top of their game here. You can easily see why they're two of the most successful actors at the Korean box office. For me Lee Jung-Jae steals the film with his mesmerising performance as Ray. Not taking anything away from Hwang Jung-Min. He has the less flashy role, where more a matter of fact delivery is needed, with his lines. It is less is more for the film and he does it so well. All he is looking for is to do the right thing. How much will this cost? A tortured soul, with a past and what is happening right now, with his last hit all very much catching up with him. There are action set pieces galore, with exhilarating elaborately staged gun fights, close quarter knife fights to expertly staged and filmed hand to hand combat scenes (that must have taken weeks to practice, to get the seamless movement right). To car chase scenes through the heart of Bangkok. Honestly, it will take your breath away! All this building up to one of the most explosives finales, I have seen for quite some time. Maybe a little too over the top for some, but it is the final showdown, we needed between In-Nam and The Butcher. Both Hwang Jung-Min and Lee Jung-Jae are given free reign, with this film and you can see this. One of my favourite scenes is the corridor fight (I hear you. Yes, it`s an OldBoy homage) Here, it is our first meeting between both leads, with their abilities, the direction, the excellent use of slow motion and camera work, the selection of shots and editing. This scene beats OldBoy hands down for me. Incidentally, for me I thought OldBoy was rather overrated.

I`ve been out of touch recently with Korean cinema. I did run the excellent Parasite at work, at the beginning of the year during simpler times for us all of 2020. Before that the Korean films, in my collection are the classics Fighter in the Wind & the incredible City of Violence. This is a very welcome addition for me and has rekindled my love for Korean cinema. I was blown away by it, such an enjoyable action revenge thriller. It has probably said on more than one occasion, but for me, no one does a revenge film, like Korean Directors. They remind me of two of my all-time favourite genres film noir and cop thrillers of the seventies.

If you are an action film fan, if you like a decent edge of your seat thriller, then seek our Deliver Us from Evil. You will not be disappointed! It is a true genre masterpiece from very talented filmmaker Won-Chan Hong.

Signature Entertainment presents Deliver Us From Evil on Digital 4th January 2021

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