Deliver Us from Evil (‘Daman Akeseo Goohasoseo’)

ACTION; 1hr 49min (Korean, Japanese, Thai and English with subtitles)

STARRING: Hwang Jung-min, Lee Jung-jai, Park Jung-min

Killer style: Lee

Ah, the well-worn perils of one last job. When hitman In-nam (Hwang) agrees to dispense with Tokyo gangster Koraeda (Kōsuke Toyohara) before retiring from the game forever, yada, it’s a movie cert that he’ll be sucked deeper in. Koraeda, who has epic tatts and a horrible disposition, dies an appropriately unpleasant death. This appears to give the morose In-nam no satisfaction; ditto the money he makes, the booze he puts away and the prospect of finding paradise in Panama.


Meanwhile, in Bangkok, an adorable little girl (Park So-yi as Yoo-min) is kidnapped. Her mother, Seo Young-joo (Choi Hee-sao), is desperate to make contact with In-nam, with whom she has a History. With the glaring lack of joie de vivre he’s displayed so far, In-nam couldn’t be less helpful. “If she calls again, tell her I’m dead,” he snaps. He’s about to eat those ungenerous words when it’s Young-joo who turns up dead and In-nam learns that he is the missing Yoo-min’s father. Furthermore, Koraeda’s kid brother Ray the Butcher (Lee), so named because he prefers to slice open his victims while they’re hanging upside down, is fit to be tied about his sib’s demise and is set on payback, even though he and Koreada haven’t spoken for years. Of course he is.


While patently insane, Ray is also a fashionista, making his first appearance in a long white coat that would have to be murder, so to speak, to keep clean. He and In-nam each head to Bangkok, where Yoo-min is being held by child traffickers; In-nam while grappling with the concept of fatherhood and Ray with the weary aplomb of a confirmed lunatic.


The violence is as gory and kinetic as a video game, the vibe is godawful, and with writer-director Hong Won-Chan plainly no fan of a reflective pause, the plot points clip along, especially when trans femme Yui (Park) is hired as In-nam’s guide to the child-trafficking ropes. She’s a rare and caring bird and In-nam is blessed to have her on board, but in this red-blooded microverse the business of killing is strictly a job for the boys.