Tartan | Release Date: August 19, 2005
7.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 55 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
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47
Mixed:
6
Negative:
2
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9
moonman1994Jun 19, 2013
A very well done revenge film. The best thing about this film is that you really don't know who to root for by the end of the film. There really is no clear evil character or good character. The filming is great as well making good use ofA very well done revenge film. The best thing about this film is that you really don't know who to root for by the end of the film. There really is no clear evil character or good character. The filming is great as well making good use of darkness and shadows when needed. Expand
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8
ChadS.Oct 20, 2005
There's a scene in "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" that uses the long take in a most brilliant manner. It starts off so innocuously, and then the little girl hands her captor a letter... Another brilliant scene shows a crime in the There's a scene in "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" that uses the long take in a most brilliant manner. It starts off so innocuously, and then the little girl hands her captor a letter... Another brilliant scene shows a crime in the background which had the uncanny effect of making me whisper directions to the character. Director Chan-wook Park is obviously talented and doesn't need to turn little girls into cadavers. That scene in the autopsy room plays like an ode to Janet Leigh's violent exit from "Psycho", but here, instead of edits to convey the notion of gory violence, Park makes effective use of sound and reaction shots from the father. It's almost bloodless, but incredibly disgusting. This is a brutal, brutal film, redeemed by great screen compositions and gravitas. Don't bring grandma. Expand
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8
giuliaAug 8, 2007
I finally watched all three movies. this one was probably the hardest one to watch, very cruel, but it felt honest. i liked it better than oldboy, i never was into that hypnose thing.
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10
kylea.Nov 6, 2005
One of the most disturbing films of all time. Beautiful, horrible, wonderful, terrifying. Underappreciated and destined to be a classic.
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10
PeetDec 3, 2005
Merciless, depressing, brutally-complex, though very different to Oldboy - and actually exactly as brilliant.
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9
kevinf.Sep 3, 2005
This film never bogs down or relents for a moment, maintaining a crystalline economy of black humor, wit, moral mutability and extraordinary visual adeptness. The grisly scenes are never gratuitous, but enrich the film with a clarity and This film never bogs down or relents for a moment, maintaining a crystalline economy of black humor, wit, moral mutability and extraordinary visual adeptness. The grisly scenes are never gratuitous, but enrich the film with a clarity and competence so rare that they appear to be an almost completely new language of violence. The highly praised 'Oldboy' is less coherent and falls into a more conventional mode of favoring one character as 'good' and the other as 'bad' - whereas in this film there is no such easy parceling and channeling of audience sympathy. This film also employs Park's masterful flatness of affect to maximum effect, much like Kitano at the height of his powers. This lean, funny, cruel and beautiful film is among the best of the new millenium. Expand
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10
DerekW.Mar 16, 2009
This film is brilliant. It shows that no one is really evil or good. People upset that the film does not give them a "good guy" to go for, are extremely close minded. The world is gray and the characters are doing what they fill they must. This film is brilliant. It shows that no one is really evil or good. People upset that the film does not give them a "good guy" to go for, are extremely close minded. The world is gray and the characters are doing what they fill they must. The film is shot as well as oldboy but the story holds together much better. With this film there are no gaping plot holes. Expand
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7
matta.Dec 15, 2005
Good story and acting, but even though the director is talented (and he proves that with his next film Oldboy) this film leaves alot to be desired in that department. You can tell that this came before Oldboy just because the overall style Good story and acting, but even though the director is talented (and he proves that with his next film Oldboy) this film leaves alot to be desired in that department. You can tell that this came before Oldboy just because the overall style is so much improved with the latter film. Still, pretty amazing to look at, but not for the faint of heart. Contrary to what some critics said, the violence in this movie is much more brutal than the violence in Oldboy. Not fun, especially the shot of the achilles. Expand
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6
VerdugoAug 20, 2012
An somehow to subtle piece of horrifying vengeance. It shows the devastating Side of Vengeance ending in the Death of a lot of people. But overall a not very satisfying experience.
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6
Nesbitt10Jul 13, 2013
"Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is the first installment in what is one of the bloodiest cinematic trilogies ever embarked upon. A stylish blend of surreal imagery intertwined with pitch-black humor, and stomach-turning violence. As a director,"Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is the first installment in what is one of the bloodiest cinematic trilogies ever embarked upon. A stylish blend of surreal imagery intertwined with pitch-black humor, and stomach-turning violence. As a director, Chan-wook Park possesses a remarkable eye for detail and framing, and he is simply unrivaled in his approach to modern Asian filmmaking. The films intricate plot appears fairly straightforward at first, but slowly, deliberately moves into uncharted waters.

A deaf mute named Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun) devises a kidnapping plot to pay for a kidney transplant for his dying sister that spins out of control into a bloody cycle of retribution. Ryu's scheme quickly, hideously backfires, making him one of two Mr. Vengeances in the film, both of whom are murderously intent on returning to a former state of grace that is no longer reachable.

"Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" relies heavily on its elaborate plot, which, when all else is stripped away, is really only a tale of family and the lengths people will go of the depths they will fall to to protect their own. Failing protection, vengeance rules the day and so Park's film descends, with its own stately grace, down the bloodied slope of life into the lowest reaches of humanity. The film is superbly made on all fronts, despite the morality issues and graphic violence. Once it crosses its own internal Rubicon, it becomes downright horrific, never allowing you to wake from a particularly arresting nightmare. Followed by "Oldboy" (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005).
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8
Xan_RyilDec 3, 2015
The best part of watching Mr. Vengeance was the perspective it was presented from and how it included other persons into it. And also the fact that it was in linear style, while most of the director would have opted to do a non linear styleThe best part of watching Mr. Vengeance was the perspective it was presented from and how it included other persons into it. And also the fact that it was in linear style, while most of the director would have opted to do a non linear style with all the Ryu story in flashbacks but Park Chan Wook made this movie in his own way because he wanted to show the roots instead of glorifying film editing. Although one would expect something bigger and more astonishing act for which revenge is going on but it works the way it was presented. At moments the movie is so light as in the clouds and then it turns to be so stomach hurting intense which is amazing. Every one on the screen just fits the role they are performing. Every department has worked very good to create this cult movie. Expand
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8
BroyaxJul 16, 2017
Il y a les films coréens déjà sérieusement barrés en général et en particulier, puis il y a les films de Park Chan-wook encore plus mabouls que l'ordinaire du pays du matin calme, des films qui n'ont à dire vrai rien de calme, surtout dans leIl y a les films coréens déjà sérieusement barrés en général et en particulier, puis il y a les films de Park Chan-wook encore plus mabouls que l'ordinaire du pays du matin calme, des films qui n'ont à dire vrai rien de calme, surtout dans le cas qui nous occupe ici, lorsque se déchaîne la rage de la colère de la vengeance... et tutti quanti !

Voici donc une sorte de parabole à moins que ce ne soit une fable terriblement cruelle sur la vengeance, une double vengeance, voire une triple si affinités. Le réalisateur coréen filme ses acteurs lentement et déplie son drame tout aussi lentement, ce qui peut agacer... à la longue. Mais on ne perd jamais rien pour attendre dans ce Sympathy, on est en effet toujours "récompensé" pour notre patience avec soit de la folie, soit de la violence, soit un humour grinçant, glaçant.

C'est sans doute le film le plus cynique qu'on ait jamais fait sur la vendetta (d'où souvent sa drôlerie complètement cinglée et décalée) qui se nourrit des malheurs et des drames des uns et des autres. Et tout se met en place et se répercute des uns sur les autres. On ne règle pas ses affaires au flingue mais à la batte de baseball et au tournevis, éventuellement au couteau ou avec la panoplie du petit électricien. Il n'y a d'ailleurs aucune espèce de morale, aucune leçon dispensée ici, sinon que le regard imperturbable et cynique sur un cercle infernal de violence. Oui, ce film est vraiment bizarre et déconcertant, heureusement interdit aux moins de 16 ans comme le Old Boy du même réalisateur... Mais contrairement à Old Boy qui sombre finalement dans le n'importe quoi à force de faire dans l'excessif, le Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance tient encore debout, même après tous ses morts. Car voyez-vous, il n'y a pas de rédemption dans la vengeance, ni d'espoir ou de message : seulement la mort. Et le rire narquois du spectateur.
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