South Korea’s answer to “John Wick” is a female assassin faced with the dilemma of choosing between mothering a teenager or continuing to be the A-grade contract killer that she is. Starring Jeon Do-Yeon, Esom, and Sol Kyung-Gu in the lead roles and a supporting role by Koo Gyu-Hwan. There’s also a special cameo for K-drama fans by actor Lee Jae-Wook (Alchemy of the Soul). “Kill Boksoon” is bloody, violent, and dark, giving the viewer fantastical action sequences that top each previous one with cooler camera movements and cinematography. Read our full review here.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In ‘Kill Boksoon’?
In a world where contract killing is the norm, and companies are competing to be the top killing agency, Gil Boksoon is a single mother to a rebellious teenage daughter and the top assassin at the leading MK enterprise. The enterprise works on a ranking system, with A being the highest grade. Boksoon, of course, is an A-grade assassin. On the outside, they look like an event management company, and they call the assignments “shows,” using terms such as “camera rolling” for when the action takes place. The company is led by Cha Min-Kyu and his younger sister, Cha Min-Hee. Min-Kyu has a soft spot for Boksoon, who has been with him for many years and is the best in the business. Min-Hee is vindictive towards Boksoon because of this. As Boksoon goes through life with the challenge of dealing with a teenage daughter, she finds herself wondering why that can’t be contractual either. There are three main rules for companies in the assassin world: 1. Don’t kill minors; 2. You cannot take up unsanctioned work; and 3. You must attempt work sanctioned by your company. These rules were brought up by Min-Kyu when things were becoming chaotic with other companies in the game.
Boksoon has a secret lover in a junior who has the skills to be an A-grade assassin but is never promoted. Hee-Sung pretends in front of their friends that he is jealous of Boksoon, but in reality, they’re sleeping together. It looks like he might have caught real feelings for Boksoon, but she’s just using him for the thrill of it. Boksoon’s daughter Jae-Young has a girlfriend at school but hasn’t shared this fact with her mother. At home, they discuss politics, and after seeing a news clip about a politician who took part in corrupt activities for his son, Jae-Young shows her disapproval of his actions. Boksoon is surprised by her reaction, but this is going to change a lot of things for her in the future. At work, Boksoon gets to choose between two A-grade shows and picks the local one without actually checking what it is. It turns out she has to murder the son of that politician for the man himself. Boksoon breaks the rule of not doing the sanctioned work, even with a young intern helping her with the task. She pretends to Min-Kyu that she failed at the task because of a mistake, but he doesn’t believe her. The intern also lies for her, but everyone knows Boksoon never fails. She chooses not to kill the young boy, and Min-Kyu doesn’t take any action regarding it. This enrages Min-Hee, and she decides to go on a mission to ruin Boksoon’s life. Boksoon tells Min-Kyu that she will renew her contract on the condition that no one will take over her failed show.
Min-Hee uses Hee-Sung to do the show when Min-Kyu is away, which ruins the chances of Boksoon coming back to MK. At the same time, Boksoon is with the intern, who has been fired for helping her. Hee-Sung and Boksoon’s other friends are put up against her for the chance of getting to join MK Enterprise by Min-Hee. As they fight, the intern takes Boksoon’s side. Soon the rest of them are dead, and Hee-Sung admits Min-Hee used his unsanctioned work as leverage for doing the job. Boksoon finally kills him, leaving a bigger mess than she started with. Now the companies of all the other assassins will be after her too. Min-Kyu comes to kill her because she has essentially broken all the rules and ruined his reputation too. The intern manages to save her by telling Min-Kyu that it was his sister who caused this big mess. Min-Kyu, lets Boksoon go.
At the same time, Jae-Young stabs a classmate because he took illegal pictures of her and her girlfriend to blackmail her into dating him in front of their classmates. The attack implies that Jae-Young may have the capacity of violence within her, just like her mother. Boksoon is overwhelmed by the thought of her daughter intending to kill someone, but she finally understands the reason. This is the one thing Boksoon didn’t want for her daughter. All she ever wanted for her was a normal life. Finally, Boksoon visits Min-Hee to sign the contract after a discussion with Min-Kyu, but to her disdain, he has killed the innocent intern in order to save his sister’s life. Even though his sister has always had questionable intentions, Boksoon and Min-Kyu met when he was on the job to kill her father. She was supposed to be in school but returned early. Disguised as a suicide, the murder wasn’t complete, but Boksoon entered the house. Min-Kyu didn’t kill her because she was a minor, but he couldn’t leave a witness behind. To his surprise, Boksoon herself kicked aside the seat under her father’s feet, killing him. That’s when Boksoon decided to join Min-Kyu’s line of work, but Min-Kyu had already fallen in love with her in an instant. Now that Boksoon has reached her breaking point (with the intern’s death), she can’t tolerate Min-Hee and chooses to kill her with a fountain pen. She then sends the blood-covered pen to the chairman. In their world, if someone sends a bloodied knife to another person, they are meant to have aduel. Essentially, Boksoon is done with this lifestyle and just wants to be with her daughter.
‘Kill Boksoon’ Ending Explained – Did Jae-Young Really Watch The Video?
In all scenarios, Boksoon imagines her boss killing her. She doesn’t think she can defeat him in any way possible, but as she likes to say, Find the opponent’s weakness or create one. Although Min-Kyu physically has no disadvantages in comparison to Boksoon, he is in love with her and wants to protect her. His biggest weakness is Boksoon herself. After a lot of fighting scenarios in her head, she’s able to kill Min-Kyu, but before he shuts his eyes for good, he has an unannounced trump card. Because Min-Kyu knows how much Boksoon wants to keep her daughter away from her lifestyle, he tells Boksoon that he has shared a live broadcast of whatever has just taken place with Jae-Young. Boksoon is absolutely devastated and doesn’t want to consider this a possibility. She thinks Min-Kyu just said those words to spite her.
Boksoon heads home devastated at the thought of her daughter knowing her truth, but Jae-Young is found soundly sleeping at home. She wakes up when Boksoon arrives and tells her that she’s worked hard. We believe this is telling of Jae-Young’s thoughts. She knows exactly what her mother does, but she’s okay with it. Jae-Young, too, would like to be like her mother someday, possibly, and that’s why she’s okay with it. She also knows her mother would do anything in her power to keep Jae-Young happy and safe. This poses the question of nature vs. nurture. Boksoon was born into abuse and violence. Her father was a terrible man who tortured his daughter, and so she killed him when she got the chance. Jae-Young has never seen hardship in her life. Of course, putting aside her sexuality. So why, then, does she still choose scissors over diplomacy against the boy in her class? According to “Kill Boksoon,” it is nature that wins in this case. At the end of the day, Boksoon did defeat Min-Kyu, but she still has another battle to face and a lot of unpacking to do.
Boksoon is seen calling out to Jae-Young at home, but she’s nowhere to be seen. Some other political drama plays out on the TV as a voiceover. Jae-Young has gone to her old private school, which she was expelled from for wounding her classmate. She tells the teacher she wants to say goodbye to her best friend and enters the classroom. She grabs her friend by the hand and whispers in her ear that she isn’t sure if she wants to kiss her or kill her in front of the whole class. The friend is seen smiling as Jae-Young leaves the class. In the hallway, she comes across the boy she stabbed and taps at the pulse point on his neck, indicating how she could have killed him if she wanted. Ironically, Jae-Young, too, might take up Boksoon’s path. Maybe Boksoon will come to accept it because a sequel with both of them fighting together may be in the works. The Gil company could do pretty well in the assassin world.
“Kill Boksoon” is a 2023 action thriller film directed by Sung-hyun Byun.