Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance (2002)

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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 840 users
Reviews: 4 users

In Seoul, Ryu, a deaf worker has a sister who needs a kidney transplant. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood type is not compatible with hers. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs, and the criminals propose that he give them his kidney plus ten millions Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, read morebut he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His anarchist revolutionary girlfriend Cha Young-mi convinces him to kidnap Yossun, the daughter of his former employer Park, who owns Ilshin Electronics. However, a tragedy happens, generating revenge and a series of acts of violence.

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8 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Nov 16, 2012
  • Overall 9.0
  • Story 9.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 10
  • Rewatch Value 6.0
"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves." - That one Asian guy.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is as the title implies - a story about vengeance and making us sympathize with the motives behind said vengeance, and it does it very well.

It shows us that the world isn't black and white, and while we may not agree with how things turn out - we can understand why read more they ended up that way.

The emotion from the actors in this film is very raw, even to the point of being intoxicating - which is one of its main charms, I think.

The pacing was one of the weaker points of the film, as it took around an hour to really get things rolling. Sure the hour had a lot of build up, but it was really quite unnecessary at times.
It isn't a film you really want to re-watch straight away - more like you'll watch it once then maybe watch it again after a year or so.

Once it started, though... It was quite beautiful.

Anyway, delightful movie.
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4 people found this review helpful
Other reviews by this user
Sep 28, 2014
  • Overall 8.0
  • Story 8.0
  • Acting/Cast 10
  • Music 9.0
  • Rewatch Value 9.0
There are very few movies, if any, that can top Old Boy but the rest of the movies in the Vengeance series for me are pretty stellar and hold their own. Despite the theme of vengeance, it's dealt out in different ways which makes each movie unique in its own way.

The atmosphere in this for me is not as gritty as Old Boy or Lady Vengeance which actually really aids the read more movie. This movie unlike the other two has one huge plus in my books. It's that there's no true villain. The tipping point of this movie is a result of carelessness that actually tugs at your heart and make you feel sympathetic for one of the main characters.

This cast is just as stellar featuring Song Kang Ho and a young Shin Ha Kyun who is actually what made me watch this. He plays a mute who lives with his sister and is in a relationship with Bae Doona's character. In an attempt to gain money, he and his girlfriend attempt a kidnapping that unfortunately does not fully materialize the way they had planned it. This triggers a vengeance cycle

What this movie excels in is deriving sympathy for both lead characters. There are no true villains here and vengeance here is triggered by a simple yet heart breaking moment of bad circumstances. There's some very well done symbolism and imagery in this portion of the story that makes this movie distinctly memorable for me.

However, If you've read any of my other reviews concerning the Vengeance series. I warn constantly of the director's dragging and also distracting sub plots. You will indeed have to sit through some less than interesting bits to get to the meat of the plot. I'd like to add though that you truly should finish regardless. However, let me just continue to beat a dead horse with my typical comment in regards to almost anything Park Chan Wook directs. His movies should seriously end at a certain point. He needs to go to finishing camp because honestly, the man needs to learn how to adequately end a movie without feeding us unnecessary commentary in an attempt to sound deep.
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Same director. Similarly about loss and revenge.
Same genius director with great plot, great acting and greatness all round.
Recommended by BurmanP

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Comments (6)

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    iamsarah Nov 4, 2016

    This was stupid weird and I have watched a lot of great weird movies and this was not one of them.

  • Reply
    irish Dec 2, 2015

    for me, the best of the trilogy

  • Reply
    realdeal Feb 26, 2015 - edited

    girlfriend: I heard that this happened in australia, a man thought he has two heads.
    dumb guy: two heads??
    girlfriend: yeah, two.
    dumb guy: ....
    girlfriend: and...he kept getting headaches, with two heads he had headaches all the time.
    dumb guy: ....
    girlfiend: so you know what he did??.....He shot one of his heads.
    dumb guy: left or the right?

    one of the first asian movie i've seen...and this IMO is a genius piece of scripwriting probably the best and the way doona bae and shin ha kyun deliver their lines and how they act like, it is genius.

  • Reply
    Emily Jul 13, 2014 - edited
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    NewKDramaAddict May 17, 2014

    Interesting movie whereby you had sympathy for everyone but the organ harvesters! Wow. Extremely dark movie!

  • Reply
    SayItAintSoJoe Nov 30, 2013

    I didn't feel like it was as slow paced as everyone said. Maybe because I was expecting it to be or maybe because I actually enjoyed every shot. This film has excellent cinematography even if it was made back in 2002. And I kind of liked this one a little more than Lady Vengeance. But of course Old Boy is the best. Anyways, I think it was a great film.

  • Reply
    Mitchinyeoja Aug 25, 2013

    Wow, speechless

  • Reply
    MizushimaScary Nov 17, 2012
    Reveal Spoiler »
  • Reply
    blueaoichan Sep 2, 2012

    How thriller is this movie ? like many blood scene or just like action but a little creepy :s

  • Reply
    bokami Mar 14, 2012
  • Reply
    neets_45 Mar 9, 2012 - edited

    when i finished this movie, i kinda just stared at the screen and said "wtf just happened?"


  • Country:

    South Korea
  • Type:

  • Release Date:

    Mar 29, 2002
  • Duration:

    2 hr. 9 min.


  • Score:

    7.8 (scored by 840 users)
  • Ranked:

  • Popularity:


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