Lady Vengeance
last modified: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 (8:25:46 PM)
I guess it was for the Mothers Day Weekend, the Nuart was/is/might still be playing "Lady Vengeance".
(Someone has a sense of humor.)

"Lady Vengeance", or "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance", was OK but it’s the worst movie in the trilogy. Unlike "OldBoy", and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance", there is sympathy for Lady Vengeance. The joke is she’s pretty, so people will forgive her, but it doesn’t really work. In many places the movie turns sentimental and hokey.

There were many hilarious scenes, like a policeman trying to explain to an older lady the correct way to stab a man with a kitchen knife. Unfortunately many of the jokes weren’t convincingly worked into the movie’s story. I was beginning to hate the humor because the plot would stop. I felt like I was being treated like an idiot, before almost every single joke, the movie does its best to tell you when you should laugh.

Now that Park Chanwook has ended his trilogy of revenge, I can say "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" was both the first and the best. "OldBoy" is more shocking, but I really think the end of "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is just perfect. "Lady Vengeance" has many moments, and looks like a professional movie; but "The ruling; by the revolutionary anarchists' assosiation: we sentence you to death."
re: Lady VengeanceWednesday, May 17, 2006 - 9:22:08 PM

I also saw this recently and I''d have to say that my reaction was somewhat the same or maybe even more negative. While the visuals and colors were again excellent, I too felt like the tongue-in-cheek irony for the sake of comedy was too hammy and lacked the subtlety (if it could be called that) that make previous efforts more successful. Everything about the movie struggled too hard to be noticed.

For the record, I thought in whatever sense Oldboy worked, it worked because of the actors themselves (Minsook Choi, excellent in both movies and as a side note *fantastic* in another recent Korean film "Crying Fist"). I felt that the movie was somewhat predictable and depended too much on the whole, "look, we''re about to surprise you... okay we''re surprising you.... see, weren''t you surprised" ending that just dragged the final act about 20 minutes too long.

In SLV, it seems like the actors/director are simply getting tired of telling revenge/black comedy stories. It''s degraded down into a bit of an insider culture, one that has unfortunately permeated Tarantino''s recent films -- it dares you to dislike it, because it''s implied that "cool" people "get it" and the only people that wouldn''t like it are ones that don''t. It''s smarmy filmmaking -- everyone and everything here is style over substance to the point of unintentional parody.

As the antithesis to this, I''d suggest the film "Brick" if you haven''t seen it yet. While the film noir update is unusual at first, you realize that they rarely break character and invite you into the revenge puzzle box without beating over the head with it. One of my new personal faves after seeing it last weekend.