Sunday Matinee: Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance

This is a little redundant as I’ve already discussed Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance as a 12 Days of Christmas movie but I had finally reached a landmark decision and felt the need to revisit the film. Also it has a grieving father in it so it works as a Father’s Day post too.

Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance is a brilliant 2002 thriller from Korean director Chan-wook Park (JSA, Oldboy, Sympathy For Lady Vengeance, Thirst). It’s a slow but methodical thriller about revenge. A deaf man whose sister is dying and needs a kidney transplant gets desperate when he finds out that he’s not compatible and can’t donate his own kidney to her. He finds a group of underground organ dealers and believes that they can help him. Instead he is betrayed and robbed (and now minus a kidney). Desperate and low on cash he agrees to a plan that his radical girlfriend comes up with. Kidnap his ex-boss’s daughter for ransom to pay for the operation. From there things get worse.

I love this movie and was blown away by it when I first saw it in 2003. I had previously seen Park’s JSA and while it was good movie I was unprepared for this film. Park’s classic Oldboy was still a couple of years away and I had no expectations going into the film. It took me a while before I could get a copy of the movie to own but I finally bought the film on DVD on October 18, 2005. And because I enjoyed the film so much I constantly lent the film out to people hoping to enrich their movie watching experiences with something that isn’t another Hollywood blockbuster.

On January 9, 2007* I made a mistake. I loaned my copy of Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance to a certain prairie dog editor who to this day has still not returned the movie. Or even watched it.

Over the last five-plus years I’ve made fun of Whitworth in published top six lists and tried to shame him in front of mutual friends but I believe all this has only ever amused him. After six plus years, I’ve decided to move on and replace the movie. I just bought the Blu-ray and the film is still great.

Maybe someday Steve will finally watch Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance but I’m no longer holding my breath.

*I have DVDProfiler which keeps track of these dates so I don’t have to

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Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.

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