23rd Dec2020

‘Deliver Us From Evil’ VOD Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Hwang Jun-Min, Lee Jung-Jae, Jung-Min Park, Moon Choi | Written and Directed by Won-Chan Hong

Signature Entertainment are looking to kick off 2021 in the same way they ended 2020… In lockdown! I’m joking of course, however Signature did drop a smorgasbord of delectable treats in the last month of 2020 with flicks like Chronical 2067 and Jiu Jitsu; and they are kicking off the new year with an absolute banger in South Korean flick Deliver Us From Evil. Equal parts Man on Fire and Leon with a smattering of Hard Boiled and grimy kinetic action sequences audiences have come to love since the likes of The Raid.

In-Nam (Hwang Jun-Min) is an ex black ops agent with a particular set of skills. Since leaving that life he has become a Hitman for hire and he is extremely proficient at what he does. After being contracted to find the Daughter of his murdered ex, he heads to Tokyo on the case. However Ray (Lee Jung-Jae) the brother of In-Nam’s last kill is hot on his heels and looking for bloody murderous revenge. What started as a somewhat simple rescue mission becomes a deadly game of chess as In-Nam the hunter has now become the hunted against a truly formidable foe. Add to this the fact that the girl he is out to rescue may bring about some revelations he was not expecting and you have a slick hyper brutal multi layered story that seeks to impress you visually and tug on the heart.

Deliver Us From Evil initially plays out as a standard by-the-numbers Man on Fire knock off at first, injecting scenes hugely reminiscent of Leon too. Once you really start getting into the core of the film though, it really begins to shine. Hwang-Jun Min as In-Nam is outrageously compelling and no matter how dark the road he is forced to travel, you can’t help but root for the guy. A little research and you find that this guy is a superstar in his home country and it’s easy to see why – even in scenes of little dialogue he demands your attention.

The fight choreography in Deliver Us From Evil is another notch above what you might expect from this genre – sure gunplay is a must but some of the close quarter combat is as fast, chaotic and frenetic as it gets! Now I don’t want to give spoilers but it’s fairly obvious throughout the film that we are leading to a showdown between In-Nam and Ray (Lee Jung-Jae) and I just want to put here that you could have made me wait six hours for this showdown and it still would have been worth the wait. For a movie full of visceral action beats this one in particular is the grandest, up there with the “two brothers vs mad dog” fight sequence in The Raid.

Quickly on that Lee Jung-Jar as the Villain of the flick absolutely steals the whole movie. What a character guy plays, just superb1

I know that foreign language movies, in particular those with subtitles, are not for everyone – and I get that – but I have to warn people that you truly could be missing some absolute gems because that opinion. Do I think you may come out of Deliver Us From Evil thinking “damn that makes my top 5 of the year”? No, I don’t, but there is a lot of heart here; a real good story and some top-quality performances from our core cast.

This is director Won-Chan Hong’s second movie and it’s a very clear indication of how great a director he could be in the future… Very slick, super-polished in places and grimy/dirty in others; the cinematography moves with the story, which is even told during fight sequences in a seamless manner… What more could you ask for? I guarantee you won’t forget Deliver Us From Evil in a hurry.

However in the latter stages of Deliver Us From Evil the movie began to lose me with outlandish scenarios that don’t necessarily reflect the earlier stylings so the score reflects that – though this is still a solid recommend from me!

**** 4/5

Deliver Us From Evil is released on Digital HD Jan 4th.

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