• Studio: Tartan
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2006
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 3 out of 44
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  1. Jul 13, 2013
    8
    "Lady Vengeance" is an unsettling mix of stylish visuals, surreal fantasy, and shocking violence. Chan-wook Park's "Lady Vengeance" is the third and final installment of his "Vengeance Trilogy," which are linked by theme only--not literal sequels. Park positively revels in the artistic possibilities of good old-fashioned badness. Beyond the unsettling storyline, violence, and bloodshed--"Lady Vengeance" is an unsettling mix of stylish visuals, surreal fantasy, and shocking violence. Chan-wook Park's "Lady Vengeance" is the third and final installment of his "Vengeance Trilogy," which are linked by theme only--not literal sequels. Park positively revels in the artistic possibilities of good old-fashioned badness. Beyond the unsettling storyline, violence, and bloodshed-- there lies a splendor of exceptional film making by Park, and a marvelous performance by Yeong-ae Lee to appreciate. Anyone who has enjoyed the filmmaker's previous works will appreciate what this film has to offer.

    After thirteen and half years in prison for kidnapping and murdering a young boy, Geum-ja Lee (Lee) is released from prison and tries to fix her life. She finds a job in a bakery; orders the manufacturing of a special weapon; reunites with her daughter, who was adopted by an Australian family; and plots her revenge against the real killer of the young boy, a English teacher named Mr. Baek (Choi Min-sik.) Geum-ja Lee enlists the aid of her prior inmates and friends, who had come to recognize her for her kindness and caring while incarcerated, and are all too willing to assist in her revenge. Geum-ja is after gruesome justice of a distinctly personal nature. It's her overwhelming grief and anger, and her unwavering conviction in an act she knows will taint her beyond redemption, which in turn gives her obsessive odyssey its intensity.

    Reflecting on the "Vengeance trilogy," it becomes apparent that each film focuses on a different aspect of revenge. In "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," (2002) Park highlights the irony of vengeance, and how the violent and impulsive acts of the main characters all stem from love. "Oldboy" (2003) focuses on the madness inherent in the quest for vengeance. Finally, "Lady Vengeance" is about salvation and the morality behind the need for vengeance. As the final film of the theme based trilogy--"Lady Vengeance" comes across as a combination of its predecessors, with slick cinematography, gorgeous production design, and a wonderful musical score.

    The self-imposed sentence served is utterly brutal and gruesome, and yet unconventionally satisfying. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but only enjoyed when shared by a group of like-minded diners, accompanied by a classical Vivaldi score for a final banquet of closure.
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  2. Jun 19, 2013
    7
    The film is very interesting especially in the way that it handles the flashback sequences. The major problem with this film is the fact that the ending doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the film. Also the ending makes it seem like less of a revenge film and makes all the prison flashbacks seemingly less important.
  3. SteveK.
    Apr 11, 2007
    7
    The movie drags its feet with an inevitable, merciless, and drawn out revenge. Much more complex in its exploration of revenge and its consequences than Oldboy, but a much less interesting plot. Geum-jah's brilliant plot for revenge is a Count of Monte Cristo wanna-be that feels hollow, underdeveloped, and under-explained. Less shock, less plot, but more emotionally moving than The movie drags its feet with an inevitable, merciless, and drawn out revenge. Much more complex in its exploration of revenge and its consequences than Oldboy, but a much less interesting plot. Geum-jah's brilliant plot for revenge is a Count of Monte Cristo wanna-be that feels hollow, underdeveloped, and under-explained. Less shock, less plot, but more emotionally moving than Oldboy. Its an exhausting and disturbing movie, that's worth a look, but Park could have paced this movie a lot better and kept it from sputtering to its clumsy, unresolved end. Collapse
  4. RG.
    Jan 16, 2007
    9
    A little slower than oldboy but a great finish to his triliogy. movie takes its time to gather its forces and then get in its flow. didnt like the flashback style and first but then expecting it made it very stylistic tack on the themes of a modern man and this movie hits all the right emotional highs. in the end i thought the style represents shards of humanity in a disjointed way. some A little slower than oldboy but a great finish to his triliogy. movie takes its time to gather its forces and then get in its flow. didnt like the flashback style and first but then expecting it made it very stylistic tack on the themes of a modern man and this movie hits all the right emotional highs. in the end i thought the style represents shards of humanity in a disjointed way. some very impressive scenes with great music that stick to you after the movie. Expand
  5. MarcK.
    Nov 9, 2006
    8
    The first hour is extremely disjointed and hard to follow, and I almost turned it off. Thankfully, I hung in there, the movie became more linear, and it was magnificent! Very interesting, creative, and visually stylish.
  6. mattb.
    Nov 6, 2006
    9
    Not at all confusing, honestly. i have seen it several times and wrote a paper on it, and had no problem with it in my first viewing. if you have seen his other movies, the themes (isolation, loneliness, technology, media, revenge, futility) are all the same and still relevant. the third act is as gruesome as it is moving. stunning use of mood and color. the female lead and her situation Not at all confusing, honestly. i have seen it several times and wrote a paper on it, and had no problem with it in my first viewing. if you have seen his other movies, the themes (isolation, loneliness, technology, media, revenge, futility) are all the same and still relevant. the third act is as gruesome as it is moving. stunning use of mood and color. the female lead and her situation adds a new wrinkle to the trilogy and makes it unique in comparison to the other, too. see it!! Expand
  7. ChrisJ.
    Oct 11, 2006
    2
    An extremely confusing and disjointed film. Twenty minutes into it I was looking at the time. Park should have steered clear of doing a flashback style movie. He flounders.
  8. [Anonymous]
    Oct 2, 2006
    6
    A high-brow melodrama.
  9. AaronM.
    Aug 16, 2006
    10
    Incredibly powerful and intensley emotional storytelling. Pefect in a very dark, disturbing way that all drama should strive to be.
  10. Darkever
    Jul 15, 2006
    7
    An overlook on the concept of vengeance, seen as both sin and act of justice. The contrapposition in Guan-Ju between her research for purity and her desire for vengeance is deep and well rapresented by the character, even if the second one is clearly dominating. I didn't see the first two chapters of the trilogy, but I liked this one anyway. A good movie, still not over a 7,5 vote.
  11. Ben
    May 12, 2006
    10
    Seriously now, there's nothing quite like Park Chan-wook's masterful revenge trilogy. Holding this film up to Sympathy for Mr. Vengence and Oldboy is inevitable... but this film stands on its own two feet way above any film that has been released so far this year. More comedic and equally just as tragic as his two past revenge films, Mr. Chan-wook has created a wonderfully Seriously now, there's nothing quite like Park Chan-wook's masterful revenge trilogy. Holding this film up to Sympathy for Mr. Vengence and Oldboy is inevitable... but this film stands on its own two feet way above any film that has been released so far this year. More comedic and equally just as tragic as his two past revenge films, Mr. Chan-wook has created a wonderfully visual and dramatic piece of art that I believe will be honored for years to come. BRAVO! magnificent theater. Expand
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Ferraro
    80
    A brutal mystery that's more beautifully poetic than the previous entries but still just as captivating. From opening to closing credits, every image is photographed as if it were a painting; even those involving ferocious violence are wonderful to look at.
  2. Mixes comedy and melodrama to a typically baroque degree. Like his "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," the film displays an audacious visual and narrative style, often sacrificing credibility and coherence along the way. But there is no denying its originality.
  3. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    A wildly inventive, highly cinematic director's showcase that looks likely, at least in the West, to enthuse fans of Asian -- especially Korean -- genre movies more than general auds.