Boksuneun naui geot / Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
December 18, 2022 10:36 AM - Subscribe

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant. Trailer.
posted by johnofjack (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well. I liked this one a hell of a lot more than the critics did.
posted by johnofjack at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

My problem with Oldboy, and moreso with this one, is what a mean-spirited film it is. I didn't really enjoy it, but I do remember it pretty well, which is probably saying a lot for a movie I probably saw fifteen years ago; I doubt I'll remember much of Black Adam in a month, and I just watched it this Friday.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:21 PM on December 18, 2022 [2 favorites]

My problem with Oldboy, and moreso with this one, is what a mean-spirited film it is.

Yeah, of the three this is the one I remember the least fondly and just the least, period. The trailer brought some stuff back, but maybe I should watch it again.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:21 AM on December 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don’t know if “mean spirited” is right. I think it’s a film that’s unrelenting in its pursuit of its main trope even as the male leads realize that their cycle of vengeance can do nothing but harm more people.

It also has a laugh out loud ending that made me feel profane.

I still think about the scene where Ryu turns his back on Yeong-mi and how violent that was in the context of a relationship carried out in sign language.

The theater I saw it in was showing alternating films. When I came out of this, people I knew were waiting to go in. They said “is that good?” I replied “I have no idea.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:13 PM on December 20, 2022 [3 favorites]

I agree with GenjiandProust. I don't think any of the Vengeance films are "mean-spirited"; instead they strike me as bleak and tragic. They very much remind me of the revenge tragedies of Elizabethan & Jacobean drama: as G&P says, unrelenting in the examination of human violence.
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:07 AM on December 21, 2022 [3 favorites]

Love this movie, and I think it's probably the most cohesive of the trilogy. I'm really just amazed that all three films actually got made - they're all so original and horrifying.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:29 AM on December 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

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