Fantasia 2019: No Mercy

No Mercy (2019) 1h 34min | Action | 1 January 2019 (South Korea) Summary: A woman seeks to take revenge when her young sister disappears and she finds out that her sister suffered violence and sexual abuse from school bullies.
Countries: South KoreaLanguages: Korean

A woman seeks bloody vengeance against those who abducted an assaulted her younger sister. Former martial arts champion Inae (Lee Si-young) is released from prison and is reunited with her teenage sister Eunhye (Park Se-wan). However, the reunion doesn’t last long, since Eunhye disappears the next day, after encountering bullies at her school. Inae goes on a frantic search for her sister, which leads her into a seedy underworld of sex trafficking and corrupt politician, who has a history with both girls. However, Inae is not going to stop until Eunhye is found and those who have taken her are punished.

No Mercy is a South Korean revenge action film that I would describe as a mix of Taken and Death Wish, with a dash of I Spit on Your Grave. While the film has many entertaining and bloody martial arts action sequences, I do think that No Mercy is quite problematic, in how the film repeated has multiple flashbacks of Eunhye, an underaged and intellectually character, being raped by practically every male character in the film. While meant to fuel Inae’s vengeful fury, this element did cast a shadow over the film that I cannot ignore. As such, while No Mercy is worth checking out for the action, it does lose a few points for its use of sexual assault as a plot device.

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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).