“No Mercy for the Rude” stands apart from the plethora of Korean thrillers, since it entails much nonsensicality in the script, characters that look like caricatures and much humor in cult fashion, before it becomes a melodrama during the end.
The protagonist, known as Killa (from the English word killer) is a hired assassin like no other. For starters, he is mute by choice, since he decided not to speak during his years in the orphanage, due to a lisp. Second, the reason he has taken up contract killing is to earn enough money for an operation on his tongue that will fix his lisp. Third, his teacher in the field is a former male ballet dancer, who goes by the name “Ballet” and uses acrobatic movements to kill his enemies. Fourth, he enjoys watching bullfights, aspiring to be a matador himself, eventually. Fifth, his procedure after the killings entails him eating huge quantities of seafood and drinking large quantities of liquor in a certain bar. In one of those nights, he gets acquainted with a call girl, nicknamed “Her”, for some reason, who, after some night of unstoppable sex decide to stay with him, for no apparent reason. The same occurs with a boy from the street Killa helps, with the three of them forming a highly unlikely family of sorts. However, when he and Ballet kill the wrong person in a mission, things take a turn from the peculiar to the dramatic.
Park Chul-hee in his second and last, until now, work, directs an unusual film, that seems to try to combine Japanese aesthetics in terms of character creation and script, as exemplified in films like Sabu’s “Postman Blues” and Toshiaki Toyoda’s “9 Souls”, with notions and tendencies from Korean action thriller and melodrama. The amazing about this effort is that he actually succeeds and the result is quite entertaining, despite the fact that the dramatic turn in the ending is a bit excessive. The characters, except Killa, are not analyzed much, but they function quite well in the script, in order to progress the story, in distinct, nonsensical fashion. The narration that shows Killa’s thoughts also works adequately and on par with the general aesthetics of the film.
The movie benefits the most by Shin Ha-kyun’s silent presence as Killa, who mostly acts as a caricature, even in scenes where he kills someone. Park based the movie upon him and he delivered in great fashion, in a role, whose muteness makes it quite difficult to perform. The rest of the characters also move in the same fashion, particularly Kim Min-jun as Ballet, while Yoon Ji-hye part as She has an obvious sexual fashion.
Technically the film does what it was supposed to, not excelling in any field, but not failing, either. The classical tracks, however, are a nice addition, particularly in the action scenes and the ones when Ballet is dancing.
“No Mercy for the Rude” is a worthy entry in the category, and a film that will entertain you in a different fashion than you have been used to, in Korean crime films.