Review: Kill It

Kill It is a twelve episode action-mystery drama that feels like it started out as a six episode drama that was handed over to an intern in editing who then chopped it up into a billion unnecessary flashbacks (flashbacks to what happened, literally, ten minutes before in the same episode) and excruciatingly long staring scenes where no one moves (did time stop? are there photographers on set? why do they keep doing this in dramas?).

It stars the handsome, tall Chang Ki-Yong as a brooding, introverted assassin… who is also a veterinarian. There are two ways to make scary men lovable, and that is to surround them with cute small children or cute fluffy creatures. This show chose the latter, as all children were too busy being horribly abused in this drama to enjoy even a  moment of cuteness.

Minor spoiler here – but at some point our lead female does investigate his credentials as a doctor and finds out they are faked… which really disturbed me as we watched him perform surgery on a cat. I am still not sure what to make of that…

Anyways, our handsome silent assassin is quickly paired up with the beautiful, ethereal Nana. This is the first drama I have seen with this actress and I must say, I am impressed. She is not only extremely lovely, but she also has natural moody intensity and “bedroom eyes.” Nana plays a police detective. She is also an orphan who was adopted by a wealthy couple.

So, that’s our antagonist/protagonist. But of course, we sympathize with our moody assassin because even though he cold-heartedly murders people he also snuggles with puppies and it’s just too hard to reconcile these conflicting images. So the puppies win.

We learn he has a sad backstory. He’s also an orphan, except he was adopted and raised by an assassin. He and our police beauty were at the same orphanage – only he was one of the “numbered children,” a group of kids who were treated differently and never given names.

And so they end up in the same town, in the same apartment building, working the same case. Honestly, I could go into more detail about the plot but it doesn’t really matter much. Basically, he’s trying to figure out who his real father is and why he was and dutifully murdering people to find out. The detective is trying to figure out who is murdering people. And the whole thing spirals neatly around the characters with answers you guessed within the first few episodes. You just have to wait for the characters to figure it out.

It’s grim. Though it’s not exactly a novel idea. If you’ve read Never Let Me Go or seen the movie The Island, you are prepared for the concept.

There’s never enough action to really make it an action series. Though we are given a few very nicely choreographed sequences, they are sparse. The mystery also feels a bit thin, though out of everything it is the strongest narrative. Character development is nonexistent. Larger themes or nuanced writing? Not in this show. There was certainly room for all these things – but we got prolonged staring scenes instead.

And yet… I still enjoyed the series. I’m a sucker for Chang Ki-Yong ever since My Mister, and honestly hope we put him in another series were he can do some real acting again. Because though he can, indeed, conquer a role that just requires him to look emotional and be largely silent (Come and Hug Me already proved that), there is more to him than this. He needs to fire his agent and insist on a meatier role. At least in Come and Hug Me he got to show us he could pull off a romantic lead. There is nothing romantic about this show. It’s all implication without any pay off.

So… it’s a C grade drama. Not bad, not good. Just so-so.

Overall Rating 6/10. It’s impossible to hate an assassin who snuggles kittens.

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