Hitman: Agent Jun

Dept. of Slapstick Super Spies


They say: “Write what you know”. In the case of Hitman: Agent Jun, “Draw what you know” might be more apt but it’s still not great advice for web comics artist Jun. Not when all he knows is national secrets and how to be a living weapon.

“They” also say “follow your dreams” but that’s not working out so great for Jun either. Recruited as an orphan to be trained as one of South Korea’s top spies, all he wanted to do was draw online comics (webtoons). Stuck as the “top ace of Shield Team” of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS), the only way out of his unwitting profession seemed to be death. When a mission to take out terrorist mastermind Jason goes wrong, Jun seized the opportunity to disappear and follow his dream.

Writers Block.png

15 years later, a broke Jun can’t support his family (wife Mi-Na and teenage daughter Ka-Young) drawing webtoons that no one likes. After a particularly rough day, he drunkenly illustrates his life as a super spy and passes out, only for his wife to upload them to his publisher. While he’s finally getting the positive reviews he’s always craved, he’s also attracting the attention of his old bosses at the NIS, who also happen to be on the lookout a turncoat is who’s offing Jun’s previous colleagues.

Jun’s nemesis from his old job, Jason, also just happens to also be back in town and, after seeing the comics, is out for revenge. With all sides closing in on Jun and his family, how will he protect them and clear his name? Luckily for him, he’s not let his previous talents go to waste during the last 15 years of honing his drawing skills.

There’s a lot to like about Hitman: Agent Jun. It wastes zero time getting its story going and has some excellent fight scenes, including an utterly baffling fight sequence that turns genius once you realise what’s actually happening. The action consists of lots of quick bursts of impressive action and acrobatics, cut together quickly but without ever losing the flow of the fight.

Hitman Jun: The Animated Adventures

As Jun illustrates his past exploits with the Shield Team, the film switches to a simple yet effective animated style, adding some flair to the proceedings while filling in his past.

Kwon Sang-Woo is an incredibly likeable lead as Jun, bouncing off his old chief (Jeong Jun-ho) and former protégé Chul (Lee Yi-Kyung) as he tries to rescue his wife and daughter. Jo Woon provides an excellent nemesis in Jason, coming off as a Korean Danny Trejo who just loves to swear in English. He’s constantly baffled by the ludicrous complexities of Jun’s new life.

Jason’s Revenge

Unfortunately, the bulk of the humour just didn’t land for me. There are plenty of funny moments, most subverting the expectation of the action movie genre, but far too many scenes rely on overlong slapstick routines. Most of this comes in the form of people repeatedly screaming “IDIOT” at each other at the top of their lungs. The biggest culprit of this is Lee Sang-Won’s NIS director, frequently kicking his subordinates while scremaing at them. This did absolutely nothing for me, but ABSOLUTELY KILLED with the Korean fan groups attending my screening.

Hitman: Agent Jun is a great concept, that might have some difficulty translating to a non-Korean audience. If you like seeing people get repeatedly shouted at and kicked by their bosses, in between great fight scenes then this movie might be for you.

Hitman: Agent Jun
110 minutes
Director: Choi Won-Sub
Writer: Choi Won-Sub
Cast: Kwon Sang-Woo , Woo-seul-hye Hwang, Lee Ji-Won, Lee Yi-Kyung , Jeong Jun-ho, Heo Sung-Tae, and Jo Woon.

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

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