A PROFESSIONAL KILLER OR A KILLER ROMANCE?
A professional hitman, Hyun Joon (Shin Hyun Joon) is hired to kill a man but when he arrives at the home he finds a woman there. In fact, Jin Young (Kang Hye Jung) has hired him to help her with her suicide but he refuses to do it.
However, the quiet, awkward hitman is unable to forget her and they begin seeing each other. He grows more talkative while she begins to dream of a tomorrow.
This premise is almost identical with the movie Kill Me Later, starring Max Beesley and Selma Blair. Max Beesley is known for British television series like Hotel Babylon and Survivors but also for the unfortunate Glitter. Selma Blair’s credits range from Legally Blonde to The Sweetest Thing to Hellboy. I’ll forgive her for the American version of Kath & Kim. The movie’s about a bank associate who loses her goldfish and her lover on the day her bank is robbed. The bank robber catches her just as she’s about to commit suicide by jumping off the roof of the bank and takes her hostage in order to escape. He promises to fulfill her wish of dying once he’s gotten away with but things go awry.
There are some conscious choices that Kill Me makes that Kill Me Later doesn’t. The costume connection between Hyun Joon and Léon in The Professional was a humorous visual cue aided by Hyun Joon’s social awkwardness.
Kang Hye Jung adds to the hilarity with her disheveled look that acts as a pitiful reminder of her emotional state.
I also liked Hyun Joon’s relationship with his alcoholic mother (Kim Hye Ok).
Despite his requirement to remain emotionally detached due to his profession, he’s quite affectionate with her and tries to reciprocate that with Jin Young even though she pushes him away.
I have to admit that I liked Kill Me Later better for the way the logic plays out in that movie. I can’t imagine that someone like Jin Young would continue meeting Hyun Joon without a guarantee that he’d kill her. Sure, he says he’ll consider killing her later but there really wasn’t much to stake on that.
Jin Young’s curiosity in Hyun Joon doesn’t peak until much later.
Plus, I’m not totally convinced that I buy the ending. The cops question whether Jin Young is truly a victim or an accomplice and Jin Young can only say that she’s innocent even though things don’t add up for the detectives. It’s all pretty absurd and that’s what makes it kinda funny but more than anything I just went along for the ride. There’s really no substance here.
There is also an interesting storyline where Hyun Joon is that aging assassin that’s being edged out by a new killer. You don’t really get to know the new killer and there wasn’t much interaction between the two characters for me to care that Hyun Joon was being replaced.
The comedy is so random that it does make you chuckle at the ridiculousness of this world but the randomness extends to inconsistency of the storytelling. I just took the absurdity with a grain of salt and enjoyed the humorous moment without thinking too much about the flow of the plot.