Friday, July 26, 2019

No Mercy (언니) - Fantasia 2019 Movie Review

The Movie: No Mercy (언니)

The Director: Lim Kyoung-tack

The Cast: Lee Jun-hyuk, Park Se-wan, Lee Si-young

The Story: A woman seeks to take revenge when her young sister disappears and she finds out that her sister suffered violence and sexual abuse from school bullies.

The Review:
South Korea loves a good revenge movie and they have been turning out more of them in recent years than just about anywhere else and lately the women are definitely getting their turn in a big way. Lim Kyoung-tack's entry into the genre is filled with action and a pretty much non stop stream of blood splattering showdowns between Inae, played by Lee Si-young, and basically every male character in the movie.

As Inae hunts down the chain of people who have contributed to her sister's mistreatment, a bigger story is slowly revealed which traces back to the original reason she had spent time in prison in the first place. I thought this was a really interesting twist and a good way to tie everything together so she could get her ultimate revenge. The action spectacle is balanced out by solid performances from both Lee and Park Se-wan who plays her intellectually disabled younger sister. Meanwhile, all the men in the movie are pretty standard fare evil doers which is fine because they are basically lined up to be proverbial punching bags anyway.

While the stunt work and fight scenes in this movie are not on the level of Hollywood fare like John Wick or its South Korean counterpart The Villainess, Lim Kyoung-tack adds a layer of depth by tackling some really tough subject matter. Human trafficking of any type is nothing to take lightly, especially when people with disabilities are the ones being victimized, and how it is portrayed here as almost normalized behavior, it makes it especially easy to root for Inae to succeed in her path of destruction.

The Verdict:
No Mercy is a relentless roller coaster of cinematic action filled with broken bones and shattered dreams as Lee Si-young leaves a trail of blood, destruction, and sweet satisfaction in her revenge fueled path.

No Mercy is an official selection of the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival.

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