Dir. Choi Dong-hoon. 2015, 140 mins. With Jeon Ji-hyun, Lee Jung-hae, Ha Jung-woo. Choi Dong-hoon’s follow-up to his 2012 hit The Thieves was Korea’s biggest box office hit of the year. Drawing inspiration from 1980s Hong Kong action comedies and South Korea’s little-known 1960s Manchurian westerns, Assassination follows the journey of three resistance fighters as their mission takes them to the Manchurian countryside, pre-war Shanghai, and Japanese-occupied Seoul to assassinate an evil Japanese governor and his Korean acolyte. Boasting an all-star cast led by screen-goddess Jeon Ji-hyun and superstar Lee Jung-jae, Assassination is “a sensationally entertaining mash-up of historical drama, Dirty Dozen style shoot-‘em-up, spaghetti western-flavored flamboyance, and extended action set pieces that suggest a dream-team collaboration of Sergio Leone, John Woo and Steven Spielberg,” according to Variety’s Joe Leydon.
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