THE KILLER: Is Jang Hyuk’s Latest A Knock On Hollywood’s Door?
At some point, you have to wonder just when actor Jang Hyuk will make his crossover into Hollywood. The best or rather closest inflection point at one time would have been his latest action thriller feature, The Killer, believe it or not.
Enter South Korean sensation Jang Hyuk who plays a notorious hitman who’s long since found happiness in a quieter, much more idyllic life as a married man with a business and his own home office. Tasked by his vacationing wife to watch over his friend’s daughter, it isn’t long before the young rebellious girl finds herself in danger, with our hero thrust once more into action to rescue the girl by any brutal, bloody and violent means necessary.
The film is chock-filled with stirring and slick action and brutality with Hyuk and filmmaker Choi Jae-hoon now two-for-two since 2019’s The Swordsman. Par for the course is our anti-hero’s constant exchange with waves of henchmen, including and especially a blonde-haired fixer played by none other than Bruce Khan, best known for performing the blistering action starring in Lee Seung-won’s Netflix action thriller, Revenger.
The two actors have several fight scenes together, a prospect that would have otherwise not been were it for scheduling issues preventing Khan’s role from being taken by actor and stunt professional-turned-filmmaker David Leitch, who has worked with the likes of Sammo Hung, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jason Statham on screen to name a few. As many action fans know, Leitch has additionally churned out several blockbuster hits from behind the lens in the past decade working on the John Wick franchise, as well as on Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Fast And Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and Bullet Train, and the current production of Universal Pictures release, The Fall Guy.
Hyuk confirmed this in an interview last year following the U.S. theatrical release of the film, as well as teased new hopes of a collaboration going forward, in response to questions by celebrity interviewer and film critic The Lady Miz Diva via The Diva Review with the following in part:
…We had a conversation about his appearing in the film, actually, but there was a conflict in his schedule, and he couldn’t find time for this.
Sadly, we couldn’t work together for this film. So, we want to work together with him. We talked about this again; that we are going to work together. We don’t know when that is going to happen, yet, we were hoping and planning to work together in one frame…
And not for nothing either, regarding the cermony surrounding The Killer and its multiple comparative references toward John Wick, the Keanu Reeves-led franchise now in its fourth installment which is wall-to-wall with the supple noir imagery and propulsive, stylish action and gun choreography that not only takes its inspiration from other predecessors, but has also driven and inspired other creators to experiment in the same vein.
Hyuk has since gone on to complete filming a new tvN series titled Family: The Unbreakable Bond, from showrunners Jang Jung-do and Lee Jung-mook. It’s anyone’s guess when the two will share the set, but I’m hopeful, and even more so with Hyuk and Choi as the two are now back-to-back with two of the best action movies made in the last decade.
The Killer is currently available in the U.S. on Digital via Google, iTunes, Microsoft and xBox. Trinity CineAsia will release the film in the U.K. on Digital beginning March 27, followed by DVD and Blu-Ray from April 17.
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.
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