Motherly love and killer instincts combine in new Netflix film 'Kill Boksoon'

A scene from ″Kill Boksoon″ [NETFLIX]

The new Netflix crime action film starring award-winning actor Jeon Do-yeon, “Kill Boksoon,” is a black comedy delivered with Korean sensibilities.

Jeon, whose career spans three decades and who has won a long list of accolades including Best Actress at Cannes, stars as a single mother who is secretly part of an assassins’ organization.

Jeon plays Boksoon, who is faced with the dilemma of renewing her contract with MK ENT, a secret assassins’ organization, while facing issues at home with her teenage daughter.

While ”Kill Boksoon” has attracted much attention — having been invited to the Berlinale International Film Festival this year — Jeon thinks the film is "not just another hitman story.”

From left, director Byun Sung-hyun, actors Sol Kyung-gu, Esom, Jeon Do-yeon, Kim Si-a and Koo Kyo-hwan pose for a photo during a press conference at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Gangnam District, southern Seoul on March 21. [NEWS1]

“I play a single mother who is also a killer, which is parallel to how I myself in real life am an actor and a mother,” said Jeon during a press conference for “Kill Boksoon” at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Gangnam District, southern Seoul on March 21. “I always aspire to try out a wide range of roles, and break out from my own image. I took on the role of Boksoon because I felt that this role is not like any other I have done.”

Jeon is accompanied by actors Esom, Sol Kyung-gu, Koo Kyo-hwan and newcomer Kim Si-a. The ensemble cast made much synergy and the combination of their characters gave the film a variety of dynamics, according to the actors.

“Our film is mostly an action movie, but I think my character Cha Min-kyu brings an element of romance with Jeon’s character Boksoon,” said Sol during the press conference. “We hope with the global release of ‘Kill Boksoon,’ audiences will see the various dynamics of the characters.”

Koo also praised the multidimensionality of the characters including that of his own role Han Hee-seong and expressed his gratitude for “getting the chance to work with Jeon.” Koo plays another hitman in the assassins’ organization.

A scene from ″Kill Boksoon″ [NETFLIX]

“My character Hee-seong is someone you cannot fathom the more you get to know him,” said Koo. “So I played him with that curiosity in mind. The action scenes were particularly enjoyable to shoot — we acted them as if doing choreography for a dance, almost.”

“Kill Boksoon” is special in that the film has particularly Korean sensibilities that are incorporated with elements of an action or assassin film, the director and cast agreed.

“The comedic scenes are very Korean, and the film — since it deals with the relationship between a mother and a daughter as well — has Korean sensibilities,” said Jeon. “But I think also that ‘Kill Boksoon’ will appeal to global audiences on Netflix since the story is also universal in a sense.”

Actor Jeon Do-yeon speaks during a press conference for ″Kill Boksoon″ at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Gangnam District, southern Seoul on March 21. [NEWS1]

Director Byun Sung-hyun, who previously directed acclaimed films such as “Kingmaker” (2022) and “The Merciless” (2017), expressed how unreal the experience of having “Kill Boksoon” screened at the Berlinale film festival this year was.

“There were over 1,800 people in attendance at the screening at the Berlinale,” said Byun during the press conference. “All those people gave wholehearted reactions during the screening and it felt like they were feeling in tune with the story of our film. It was truly an uplifting experience.”

Byun wrote “Kill Boksoon” with the aim of “giving a new spin” to the well-known and sometimes trite format of assassin films, said the director.

“I wanted to bring something new to the old genre of assassin films,” said Byun. “I wrote the script by thinking of parallels between assassins and actors, in a sense.”

Having “Kill Boksoon” released through Netflix is also a huge opportunity, according to Byun.

“Through Netflix we have the chance to introduce all these great actors to global audiences,” said Byun. “It is a real opportunity and we are looking forward to viewers’ reactions to our film.”

“Kill Boksoon” is set for worldwide release on March 31 on Netflix.