Ballerina Parent Guide
It's beautifully shot but this vengeance thriller is thin on character development and full of violence.
Parent Movie Review
Ok-ju (Jun Jong-seo) is a former bodyguard trying to settle into a normal life and leave her traumatic past behind. Her best friend, Min-hee (Park Yu-rim) is a stabilizing force in her life, which makes it all the worse when Ok-ju discovers Min-hee’s body and a note pleading for her death to be avenged. As Ok-ju begins her investigation, she discovers a criminal operation trafficking young women into sex slavery. Desperate for revenge for the loss of her friend, Ok-ju decides to take down the operation on her own.
Ballerina follows closely in the style of other recent revenge thrillers, like John Wick. It has a simple story, is beautifully shot, and stylishly choreographed. However, the story lacks the cohesion of its better counterparts, which puts it solidly into the middle of the pack for this genre.
Ok-ju lacks the character development needed for the audience to connect with her. Jun Jong-seo’s performance is great, it’s just that her character doesn’t have much going on. We get almost no back story for her aside from her friendship with Min-hee and she has no motivations outside of revenge. She’s essentially just a stoic killing machine, which is fine during the action sequences, but lacks the depth to take the movie to another level. Kim Ji-hun’s villain, Pro Choi, is delightfully evil, but is terribly flat, as again he has no motivation to speak of or any character traits other than apparent psychopathy.
With the expected high amounts of violence and profanity, as well at the themes around sex trafficking and sexual assault, I can’t recommend this film for most audiences. Even those who are fans of the revenge genre will probably find this entry lacking in the emotional depth needed to add urgency and humanity to a story. The fight scenes are well done and the film is beautiful, so it isn’t a complete waste of time for adult genre fans. I just don’t see this production finding long-term success when it’s up against productions like John Wick.Directed by Chung-Hyun Lee. Starring Jun Jong-seo, Park Yu-rim, Ji-hun Kim. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release October 6, 2023. Updated October 6, 2023
Rating & Content Info
Why is Ballerina rated TV-MA? Ballerina is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, sexual violence, smoking, suicide, violence.
Violence: Characters fight each other hand to hand and with various weapons including guns and knives. A man is sliced through the cheek, which is shown in some detail. A man is killed by a flamethrower.
Sexual Content: The plot revolves around rape and sex trafficking. The assaults themselves are not explicitly shown, but it is clear what happens. Sex paraphernalia is shown in detail.
Profanity: The script contains around 30 sexual expletives, over 40 mild and moderate expletives, and five terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters smoke cigarettes in many scenes. Women are drugged before being assaulted.
Page last updated October 6, 2023