‘Yaksha: Ruthless Operations‘ follows a South Korean prosecutor who gets embroiled in a war between spies of various Asian countries. The action film is now streaming on Netflix.
Ji-hoon (Park Hae-soo), a prosector from Seoul, fails to bring down the chairman of a big company as he manages to trap him. He is sent to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) as part of his demotion.
When the NIS director assigns him for an internal review of Korean spies in the Chinese city of Shenyan, he finds a war between Chinese, Japanese and Korean spies.
He meets Kang-in (Sol Kyung-gu), the head of the Korean spies, who goes by the name Yaksha, after the demon who is also revered as a God in Buddhism.
As he becomes part of the missions of Yaksha and his group, he, himself, gets involves and becomes a target of spies from other countries.
The aim of Yaksh’s group is to find Moon Byung-uk, someone who has the information that could turn the tide in favour of the Koreans.
Park Hae-soo and Sol Kyun-gu are the heart and sole of the film. From the very moment the two interact, it’s obvious that they are well in tune with each other as actors.
From the initial hostility between their characters, to the kind of bromance they have going on later, they excel in every aspect and bring out their personalities competently.
All the actors who make up Yaksha’s group also each hold their own. The rest do not have enough screen time and serve as cliched pawns of action genre.
The development of Ji-hoon from an overly righteous prosecutor to someone who will uphold justice no matter what is well handled.
The treatment of Kang-in, as an individual with shades of both white and black, goes perfectly with his moniker ‘Yaksha’, that can be interpreted as a demon as well as God. These two elevate it from a mere action flick.
Speaking of action, it is slick, with high-quality choreography. The viewers also get into the thick of it with the very first scene.
The narrative moves at a brisk pace and has enough under wraps to keep viewers at the edge of their seats throughout.
The cinematography is excellent, as the whole city of Shenyang becomes the battlefield for spies.
While the buildup works perfectly, the payoff at the end is not at the desirable standard. The conclusive fight scene does not pull up any trees.
A bit more information about Yaksha’s past would help in understanding how he became the person he is today. There are only flashes of information.
‘Yaksha: Ruthless Operations’ is a treat for action film enthusiasts and fans of the Korean genre. Overall, it’s definitely worth a watch and could spawn a popular franchise.