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Review Ballerina (2023): Far too pretentious and empty revenge film!

genre: action, thriller, gun fu

Ballerina is one of the examples of how not to do a John Wick type of film. Too much focus on the relationship between two friends without actually showing the depth of that relationship. If anything, it points out that these two friends weren't really the strongest friends and makes you wonder why our main character is hell-bent on taking revenge.

I mean, of course, on a superficial level I get it. But for something like this, I need more. More emotion, more drama. And if you think about it, what kind of friend would leave a small note basically saying to kill the person responsible for her suicide. It's already bad enough to put such tragedy upon your friend, but to manipulate that friend to take revenge on her behalf is a pretty nefarious deal if you ask me. Then there is the villain. I can see how they were trying real hard to make him and other thugs more compelling than they actually are. Everyone is basically pretending to be ultra cool and super dangerous. They easily could have been. Actually, I would have liked them to be superior in almost every way but have our main character still be on top of things. That would have been awesome. But no, nothing of that. The villains are boring and predictable. They didn't even attempt to overwhelm Okju. She can waltz in, do her thing and leave unharmed. How is that fun or exciting? 

Granted, there is one big action sequence I did like very much and definitely one that is John Wick worthy. At the same time, though, it makes you realize that the film could have shown more of this but neglect to do so. Very criminal! Ultimately, the film feels like a drag. It's only 90 minutes. The pacing is so awful, made worse because you hardly care. Let me remind people that John Wick managed to show an arc of friendship between his dog and Wick within the first ten minutes of the film. Ballerina can't even do this in its entirety. So only watch this for that one action sequence, then forget about it.

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