March 4, 2020 The Witch: Subversion (Movie Review)
Remember when Geena Davis kicked major butt in 1996’s The Last Kiss Goodnight? How about when Matt Damon did the same in his role as Jason in the Bourne Identity franchise? And that one time Choi Min-sik took out bad guy after bad guy in 2003’s Old Boy? All those films dealt with a hero of sorts slowly regaining the truth of their past lives… but what would happen if a director out there decided to re-vamp and twist the hell out that genre, and, in return—possibly by accident—created what could be seen as a masterpiece? All eyes would be peeled to the screen is what would happen.
In this case the movie is called The Witch:Subversion, featuring some of the most cleverest of ways of submerging the viewer in a very well-told story. Although the film had already been released overseas in 2018 with big success, it finally graces the formats of Digital, Blu-Ray, and DVD Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 in the North American market thanks to Well Go USA Entertainment.
Once the “play” button is selected you are automatically put in to the story Writer/Director Park Hoon-jung (I SawThe Devil 2010, The Showdown 2011) has planned to be seen. Telling the tale of teenager Koo Ja-yoon (Kim Da-mi: Romans 8:37 2017, Marionette 2017) living her life on a farm with her adoptive parents, something drastic happened to Ja-yoon when she was 8, but they are memories she cannot remember. That is until men and women dressed in black begin showing up wherever she goes, forcing her to face her past head on before it destroys her.
The Witch: Subversion fuses so many wonderful elements making it hard to believe what is being seen is merely just a movie. It brims with dark humor, laugh-out-loud moments, and cycle upon cycle of in-your-face action unlike anything seen on the screen. The human emotions each of the actors portray is uncannily realistic, with Kim Da-mi being an absolute standout as she turns from an innocent person to straight bad-ass. Hoon-jung even throws a fake version of one of those “Got Talent”-like television shows into the story arc, providing one heck of a way to unravel the final portion of the story.
Along for the ride is Choi Woo-sik (Train To Busan 2016, Parasite 2019), who successfully breathes life back into the mysterious bad-guy trope in his role as an unnamed henchmen out for Ja-yoon’s blood. Woo-sik’s devilish, demon-like mannerisms are fantastic as he calmly tries killing his target, but he is especially creepy when speaking some of his lines in English.
Additionally, The Witch: Subversion contains a bevy of out-of-sight action scenes destined to leave jaws sore, cause immense laughter, and heads to shake as to how clever, how smart each frame unravels right before the eyes. The choreography is flat-out amazing to see, mixing the brutality of 2010’s The Raid, and the more playful aspect of the underrated 2010 film Knight And Day to each fight scene, but it is important to never avert the eyes during any of the movement. If something is missed, then this is where the “rewind” option comes in handy.
Park Hoon-jung scores big time for creating a truly exciting, invigorating Action film with The Witch: Subversion. In fact, every single one of his characters are exciting, intriguing, and, in many ways, beautiful. The dialogue alone sets this movie apart from any other film out there in how each line is perfectly delivered, taken, and reciprocated, giving off true, human interactions as if it all were happening in the viewer’s living room.
All in all, The Witch: Subversion could actually be better described using only three syllables: A-MAy-Zing, but that would put a reviewer out of job. For an Action film with an outstanding cast, crew, and director pulling you in many wondrous directions, Cryptic Rock gives The Witch: Subversion 5 out of 5 stars.