The Action Fights in The Villainess
Jung explains that the Villainess was inspired by his own short film Standing on the Knife saying,
“I wanted to show a woman’s life, one who was fated from birth to become a villainess. Throughout the film (except the finale duel against her dad’s killer), Sooh-hee never fights one-on-one. Wherever she goes, she faces many foes at the same time, thus it was critical to ensure all action scenes were new and never overstayed their welcome.”
Though trained in Korean martial arts since childhood (holds a 3rd degree black belt in hapkido and a 2nd degree in taekwondo), the 30-year-old Kim Ok-bin, who has a 141 IQ and likes building computers, still had to spend two months at the Seoul Action School to learn how to use a long sword, dagger, pistol, rifle and the chop ’em up battle ax.
During the opening fight, while walking through corridors and staircases, and armed with guns, knives and an ax, Kim Ok-bin (a stuntman wearing a head mounted camera, i.e., Kim Ok-bin’s POV) takes on 40-50 assailants, maybe more or less, in what looks like a single take. There’s no sense of motive behind the killing it’s just unabashed bashing.
It’s the beauty of ping-pong choreography, it hides so much so well, and it doesn’t matter, because she quickly enters a large room filled with 20 villains. The action snaps around, we see Kim Ok-bin, and the ball keeps rolling by using a hand held camera.