Netflix’s Kill Boksoon is perhaps the streaming platform’s most entertaining and heartbreaking action film in quite some time. The streaming giants have failed to consistently produce compelling content in the recent past. But their laggard run changes with another explosive Korean export that will blow your mind away. Netflix’s struggle always seems to be distancing itself from generic filmmaking that uses uninteresting commonplace film knowledge and unoriginal stories. Kill Boksoon steers well clear of those notions.
One can instantly compare it with John Wick. The similar thematic structures and vividly detailed action sequences are very convincing of this notion. This film should do well across geographies and should be next on your watchlist. We have crafted an ending explainer for Kill Boksoon on Netflix to answer all your questions about the film. Happy reading!
Kill Boksoon (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:
This Korean movie is about a legendary assassin, Gil “Kill” Boksoon, who works for a private contract killing company M. Kent. It is headed by a charismatic leader and retired professional Chairman, Cha Min-kyu. He runs the company with his deviant sister, Director Cha Min-hee, who does not take a liking to Boksoon like her brother. Boksoon is a single mother living with Jae-young, her teenage daughter. After she purposely botches a “sanctioned hit,” things start going south. In their esteemed industry, they consider it treason of the highest order. The movie explores Boksoon’s interpersonal relations with the people in her life and picks up on the unique situation she finds herself.
Why does Gil Boksoon want to retire?
Boksoon’s decision to retire had to do with her flailing grip on her relationship with Jae-young. As she got older, Jae-young, like all teenagers, started distancing herself from Boksoon and became isolated. Her snappy and rude back-talking really hurt Boksoon, something she even mentioned to Min-kyu when he asked her why she did not want to renew the contract. Boksoon had reached the epitome of her professional career but also a saturation point where she felt she had to change her course and focus on her personal life.
The compartmentalization of keeping “work outside the house” did not seem to be working for her. The after-effects of her brutal job profile were spilling over into her house and destroying her connection with Jae-young. This is the reason she decided to hang up her boots and give others a chance to make their mark.
Why does Boksoon decide not to kill Oh Jeong-sik’s son?
We see in the early moments of the film, Jae-young and Boksoon discusses an ongoing political case. Oh Jeong-sik, who is a sitting Senator and prospective candidate for PMship, was being accused by the opposition of abusing his power to get his son, Oh Sang-ho, admitted into a leading music university. They both had contrasting views on it. While the daughter was espousing egalitarianism and looking at it from a completely neutral lens, Boksoon was looking at it differently. She saw it through the perspective of the father, irrespective of who he was. Her views came from a place of understanding what it means to be a parent.
Just like Jeong-sik, she struggled to make a connection with her daughter and learned how to be selfless in their relationship. As she was about to kill Sang-ho after exposing him to sleeping gas, she got a call. This distracted her, and she proceeded to read the letter that was on the table – the suicide note – that would have been if she had executed the sanctioned show. That was enough shock for her as the letter said Sang killed himself because his father was being wrongly framed. In fact, Jeong-sik wanted to kill his own son to get a political advantage. That is what stopped Boksoon.
Why did Hee-sung get promoted to Rank A, and what did Director Cha Min-hee find out about him?
Han Hee-sung was conflicted in his love and admiration for Boksoon and her diminishing opinion of Hee-sung. He felt that she tried to stop his promotion to ‘Rank A’ assassin at MK because she was jealous. But that was not the situation, which Hee-sung was unaware of. After Min-hee gets upset over her jealousy of Boksoon, she goes to a firing range to decompress. She has inroads into the police force and uses them to uncover a dirty secret about Hee-sung.
The detective on her payroll gives her credible evidence that Hee-sung did some unsanctioned shows, which was against the rules of the industry. The dashcam footage retrieved from the missing truck in the Djaeong case was clear evidence of it. This gave Min-hee leverage over Hee-sung. She knew that Boksoon had purposely botched the Sang-ho show in Seoul. Her brother, Cha Min-kyu, was desperately in love with Boksoon and protected her infringements.
This outraged Min-hee, and to get back at Boksoon and her brother, she promoted Hee-sung to ‘Rank A’ after ordering him to complete the job and kill Sang-ho. This also answers the question, “who was responsible for the uncharacteristic killings of contracted employees?”
Why does Cha Min-hee hate Boksoon? How does she take revenge on her?
Min-hee hates Boksoon because she thinks Boksoon takes Min-kyu’s attention off Min-hee. Her relationship with Mi-kyu is toxic, and she is definitely a mentally unhinged person. But even more so, Min-hee knew that Boksoon had purposely broken the rules of the industry by botching the Seoul show. She was a thorough professional; these two factors combined are why she hated Boksoon. She called Hee-sung, put the phone on speaker, and as a final act of retaliation, gave orders to the employees of the industry to kill Boksoon for her violation.
What followed next was an action-packed sequence where Boksoon took all of them down, showing her exemplary skill and suave charm. Gwang-man took hold of Young-ji for a minute, but Boksoon saved her life.
How does staying at MK “the only way” Cha can protect Boksoon?
The scene where Boksoon kills all her admirers in the eating place is exquisite. The camera work is breathtaking and uniquely blocked to make the most of the surroundings. Its visceral execution will be an iconic moment in action films when we look back at this film. Well, after killing all of them with some help from Young-ji, Boksoon drew the ire of the industry. Other companies’ pride was on the line due to this wanton act of disregard.
The men she killed were employees of those other competing companies. It was Min-kyu who had set the rules and implemented them strictly whenever there was a violation. The companies wanted answers to the killing of their employees. That is why Chairman Cha asks Boksoon not to kill Cha Min-hee. If Boksoon had stayed at MK, Cha would have used his authority and power as the chairman of the biggest company in the contract-killing industry to calm the waters.
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This way, he could have protected both his lover and his sister. Also, when we saw Cha attack Boksoon in the alleyway, a realization dawned upon her. Chairman Cha would have killed Boksoon, as she foresaw while calculating what she should do next. Cha was the superior knife to Boksoon, and she thought it wise to choose the practical way out. This was the second time in the film that we saw her choose to use a gun on a superior Yakuza swordsman.
Kill Boksoon Ending, Explained:
What does Jae-young’s reaction to finding the truth mean exactly?
Chairman Cha almost kills Boksoon for killing employees from the other company. Young-ji saves the day, and he lets her be. He also tells her that signing the contract is essential. She goes home, and Jae-young announces that So-ra broke up with her because she told Boksoon about them. The mother-daughter duo talks about what people do to survive. Jae-young thinks Boksoon is a CIA agent because she saw a gun and a fake passport in her purse one day. She looked it up online about this, and Boksoon thinks it is a good cover.
She goes along with the story. The companies meet to discuss the issue. They think MK might have other ulterior intentions. They do not know the truth yet, and Sergeant Shin insinuates that chairman Cha is involved in not just protecting his favorite knife but also giving her the requisite instruction. He believes Boksoon wouldn’t have just decided to do it. Cha is in a precarious position because either way, he would be exposing and risking his lover or his sister. There is a great sense of mistrust and anger against Cha Min-kyu. Min-hee and Boksoon meet at the office to sign the contract.
The former makes it clear she despises Boksoon out of her jealousy. Cha makes up a story that Han Hee-sung took matters into his own hands and had to be eliminated. Boksoon was given the task, but those close to Hee-sung supported him, and Boksoon had to kill them as collateral damage. They do not trust his story. Shin asks to bring in Young-ji to corroborate the story. In a flashback, we see that Cha has already warned her to keep the events a secret. He also alludes to the fact that he knew that Young-ji lied to him about the show to kill Oh.
He then proceeds to kill her. Min-hee mocks Boksoon about it. Shin openly berates Min-kyu for the unsanctioned shows and asks if he would keep his word and pay for breaking the rules. He calls himself “The Rule” and brutally murders Shin at the table for drawing a weapon at a sacred meeting.
All the others walk away in fear and disgust as Cha asserts his dominance. Back at the office, Boksoon leaves a bloody pen for the security guard before leaving. We see she has killed Min-hee for her comments on Young-ji and for killing the poor girl. Cha calls Jae-young and asks for Boksoon, but she isn’t there. Jae-young asks about what’s her mother like when she’s at work. Cha gives a regulation answer, desperately wanting revenge. He ends the call by saying, “he got her message, and he will see her at the office.”
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A funeral is held for Min-hee. Jae-young announces she will stay at the school and tell them what actually happened, prepared to embrace the consequences to remain true to herself. Min-kyu plays with Min-hee’s bloody Rubik’s cube as Boksoon begins her journey from her house. It might be the last time she sees Jae-young alive. The great Gil Boksoon is uncertain of her own victory, probably for the first time in her life. Her fierce enemy is a better knife than Boksoon, and she knows it. As she leaves, we see another assassin walk toward her house, putting on gloves. These are ominous signs for Jae-young.
As soon as the elevator shaft opens, Min-kyu empties his gun, purposely missing Boksoon’s head with great accuracy. Both exchange wry smiles after he is done. He offers her a drink and discusses why she killed Min-hee. It was because of Young-ji.