It doesn’t get much darker or seedier than this incredible foreign-language tale following the seedy underbelly of crime, hitmen and trafficking in Thailand.
This South Korean film has some of the best writing for films of its ilk in a long time. Won-Chan Hong – also the director – creates an intense experience here.
When assassin In-nam decides to leave the business for good, he’s tasked with one final job – to kill a crime magnate. But that event leads to a domino effect that will change his life forever.
In-nam heads to Thailand when he becomes embroiled in the kidnapping of a young girl, and finds himself chased by a man dubbed The Butcher, whose brother just happened to be In-nam’s last job.
It’s rare to see performances so good – Jung-min Hwang, Jung-jae Lee, and Jeong Min Park are all fantastic and deal with this brutal content splendidly.
One difficult piece for me was the way transgender character Yoo-yi is treated in the film. The moral centre of the film, Park Jung-min plays the part well, but it was stomach-turning to see such blatant homophobia in a 2020 film.
I understand values in Thailand are different, but it may be hard to stomach for a North American audience. That said, despite the tribulations, Yoo-yi is the best developed character in the film.
Deliver Us From Evil is far from an easy watch. It’s hugely sad and packs a lot of difficult themes and social issues into one plotline. But if you can handle it, you will be rewarded with one of the best crime films of the year.