It's unusual for a new Disney Plus / Hulu show to sneak out without much in the way of hype, but that seems to be the case with A Shop For Killers. The Korean action thriller starts streaming this week on January 17 and yet the usual pre-streaming hype seems largely absent. And that's a shame, because going by the trailer it's set to be an action-packed epic with a really unusual premise.
A Shop For Killers is based on the novel The Killer's Shopping Mall, which is where the oddness comes from. Jeong Ji-an, one of two lead characters and played by Kim Hye-Jun, is an orphaned young woman who was raised by her uncle, played by Lee Dong-wook. When he dies in mysterious circumstances, Ji-an discovers that her uncle was secretly the Walmart of weaponry, selling heavy weapons to heavy people. Not only that, but those very same killers are now after his stock – and if getting those weapons means killing Ji-an, that's exactly what they intend to do.
Are you getting John Wick vibes? Because I definitely am.
Kick-ass action and plenty of guns
The story here isn't told in real time. Instead it flashes backwards and forwards between the past and the present, revealing Ji-an's uncle to be a fearsome mercenary and Ji-an to be a surprisingly lethal hero. As the backstory is revealed we come to discover what makes Ji-an different from her peers at school, and why she's being trained in combat from such a young age. As the killers try to track her down, Ji-an takes refuge in her childhood home and uses the skills her uncle taught her in order to evade her pursuers.
The trailer could maybe sell the show a little better – ending with a big "WILL SHE SELL THE SHOP?" is hardly the most dramatic way to set up a series – but despite its short running time it manages to deliver what appear to be killer drones, an absolutely massive sniper rifle, some moody spotlit shots and what appears to be far too many guns. And quite frankly that's good enough for me to want to know, and see, more.
A Shop For Killers is streaming on Disney Plus and Hulu, two of the best streaming services, from January 17, 2024.
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.