The Childe Review: A John Wick Style Adventure

It’s safe to say that John Wick has become the cinematic standard for action movies over the last 10 years.

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However, the last two John Wick films have proven that this film has begun to overstay its welcome rather than bring cinematic Joy, the truth can’t be denied that the franchise has been propped up as the benchmark for the action genre.

Hollywood has given up on genre films and the style of movies that inspired some of Hollywood’s greatest writers and directors to pursue the art in the first place. In South Korea, there is still an urge to produce films that inspire their audience as opposed to the United States domestic box office.

A nation that has been inspired by American culture has brought to life a style of cult classics that we have not seen since the 1980s. The South Korean film, “The Childe” asks a very tough question: between a charismatic assassin and the head of a dangerous corporation, who do you trust when both sides have a gun playing at your head?

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“The Childe” is a story about a boxer Marco (Kang Tae-Ju) growing up in the Philippines. Born to a Korean father and a Filipino mother, Marco struggles with his identity but he also struggles with the declining health of his mother.

Marco has spent many years looking for his birth father who is living in South Korea and one day he gets an invitation to come to the nation to meet him. However, things get out of control the second that Marco gets on the plane.

A borderline psychotic Hitman shows interest in Marco right away, the closer that Marco gets to Korea the more he realizes that he has been brought there under false pretenses. Everyone in the country is after him and he has no idea who to trust as everyone has a gun pointed toward his head.

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The premise of the film is very streamlined meaning that it doesn’t allow itself to get too bogged down in the details to tell a story. Audiences are told what they need to know until the big reveal happens at the end.

‘The Childe’ is a film of perspectives. Audiences are seeing three different perspectives play out at the same time giving us different sides of the story. You have a boxer trying to meet his father in hopes of saving his mother’s life, you have a killer whose very interested in members of both sides without explaining what his motives are, and you have a family feud playing out with deadly consequences.

The film makes you sympathize with the protagonist who is born with Korean and Filipino backgrounds which is usually a result of sex tourism in the region. Meaning that Marco is generally looked down upon in this country as a result.

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When he seemingly finds his family to bring in a sense of belonging, it turns out that he’s just a pawn and a much bigger plan. The film is certainly bloody and brutal much like audiences have been used to with the John Wick franchise.

As a result, this is certainly not a feeling to take the family to go see. Kang-woo Kim is exciting as his psychotic half-brother Han but it is Kim Seon-Ho who steals the show as the mysterious killer.

Kim Seon-Ho becomes the center of every scene he’s in and becomes the primary focus of the film as the plot pushes forward. For a film that pushes 2 hours, the pacing is excellent and the story never drags on to the point where you can feel its run time.

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‘The Childe’ straps its audience into its seats and proceeds to bring them along the ride to a very satisfying conclusion.




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