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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Kang-ho Song , Ha-kyun Shin , Chan-wook Park  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (English Subtitled)   -- --
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (English Subtitled)   -- --

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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance + Lady Vengeance + Oldboy
Price for all three: $39.49

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim, Bo-bae Han
  • Directors: Chan-wook Park
  • Writers: Chan-wook Park, Jae-sun Lee, Jong-yong Lee, Mu-yeong Lee
  • Producers: Dong-jun Seok, Jae-sun Lee, Jin-gyu Lim
  • Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Tartan Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • ASIN: B000BGH2A4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,707 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Before he made the notorious cult hit Oldboy, South Korean director Chan-wook Park created Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, an equally gruesome yet elegant meditation on revenge. Desperate to get a kidney transplant for his dying sister, a deaf and dumb young man named Ryu (Ha-kyun Shin, Save the Green Planet!) kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy industrialist named Park (Kang-ho Song, Shiri). Despite Ryu's best intentions, things go horribly awry, setting in motion a series of escalating revenges--to describe the plot in more detail would undercut the movie, because much of its power comes from the spare and skillful storytelling. Chan-wook Park is careful to ground the audience in the characters' emotional lives; when the violence begins, the bloody events unfold with the hypnotic power of the revenge tragedies of the Shakespearean era, which had over-the-top plots and littered the stage with bodies, yet were full of rich poetry. Park's eye for startling images and careful editing creates a visual poetry, grotesque yet often haunting. Certainly not a film for everyone--squeamish viewers had best beware, while anyone who wants their violence flagrant and guilt-free will be disappointed--but cinephiles looking to have their hearts squeezed along with their stomachs will enjoy Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Unable to afford proper care for his sister dying from kidney failure, Ryu turns to the black market to sell his own organs only to end up cheated of his life savings. His girlfriend urges Ryu to kidnap the daughter of wealthy industrialist Dong-jin, who recently laid him off. Ryu agrees, but unforeseen tragedies turn an innocent con into a merciless quest for revenge. Bound by their personal losses and deep-seated anger, the two men are thrust into a spiral of destruction.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First of Chan-Wook Park's Revenge Trilogy September 21, 2005
Format:DVD
Korean cinema continues to impress as Chan-Wook Park proves "JSA: Joint Security Area" was no fluke. "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" is not an easy movie to stomach. It contains some of the most graphic scenes of violence I've seen in a long time, and many of the subject matters it deals with are unsettling and downright depressing. It's an absolutely gripping film, however. As with JSA, the major strength is the solid premise and plot -- a chain reaction of tragedies of Shakespearian proportions. There is no clear line between good and evil -- it's merely a conflict between two groups of people who just happen to be on the opposite sides of the fence (metaphorically, this time).

There is very little dialogue (Park says he tried to limit it to bare minimum), but the superb acting (especially Du-Na Bae playing the villain against type and Ha-Kyun Shin as the deaf/mute protagonist) and stylish widescreen shots are more than enough to carry the story.

This is the first installment of Chan-wook Park's Revenge Trilogy (followed by "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance").
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood-soaked masterpiece... September 6, 2006
Format:DVD
As so many other people I decided to watch this film because I was impressed by the brilliant "Oldboy" and wanted to check the previous work of this fine Korean director. Although "Sympathy for Mr Vengeance" is a little bit less impressive than "Oldboy", it is very powerful with some very brutal scenes of nasty revenge methods. The story has many surprises, and some back and forth movement regarding the time sequence, but the finale is unpredictable and hard hitting indeed!
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goes Beyond Old Boy May 12, 2006
Format:DVD
Old Boy is like eating cooked salmon.

This is like cutting into raw tuna.

I have never seen anything like this. This is more disturbing than any American/Japanese cinema combined.

Horrifyingly disjointed, disturbingly real--because it could happen to any one of us.

These Koreans. They can make movies. Jesus Christ.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance December 9, 2010
Format:DVD
Park Chan-wook is known as the bad boy of Korean cinema. Chan-wook is a former film critic who gained world wide acclaim for producing, writing, and directing what has now become known as The Vengeance Trilogy. This trilogy is tied together by common overall themes rather than through its characters. The most well known of the three films, Oldboy, garnered the director a devoted cult following in the United States. While Oldboy stands as the most recognized of the trilogy, the opening installment Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, has been grossly overlooked.

The story of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance follows Ryu (Shin Ha-kyun), a deaf and mute man who has a sister that needs a kidney transplant. At first Ryu tries to donate his own kidney to her. However, when he finds out that he has the wrong blood type, he attempts to go through the black market where they promise him a kidney transplant for his sister and 10,000,000 won in return for one of his own kidneys. The deal goes awry, so Ryu and his revolutionary girlfriend, Cha Yeong-mi (Bae Doona), plot to kidnap the daughter of his boss Park Dong-jin (Song Kang-ho).

There have been many movies about vengeance, and with only a few notable exceptions (such as Tarantino's Kill Bill) most vengeance films that come out these days feel repetitive as it's all been done before. The brilliance of each part of Chan-wook's trilogy is that they're highly unconventional for movies dealing with this subject matter. Borrowing from whodunit flicks and Hitchcock, in the end you question the identity of the protagonist and antagonist of the story. The vengeance genre always thrives on the idea of gray areas, but you always have a strong sense of who's at fault.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance is a Dish Best Served for Two December 7, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
NO SPOILERS:

My suggestion is to go into this movie as blind as possible. Don't read the synopsis. Don't read the product desription, or any reviews that reveal too much of the plot. Don't even read the back of the box. Knock 1 Star off my review if you already did. The reason I say this is, the movies pacing slowly reveals it's plot, and if you know too much of it already it's going to drag like a zombie transvestite. There's very little dialogue; which is good 'cause i can't speak a syllable of Korean (and would rather watch the movie instead of reading it); and its bad 'cause it adds to the already slow pace. It's a revenge story, yes, but not an action movie. It's not as visceral as you would think going in, It's more human, but it does have its small pay-offs. Ultimately it asks "How far are you willing to go for the ones you love?" and, "If you seek revenge are you willing to drown in it?"

The main protagonist/antagonist is deaf & mute. (Don't worry that has nothing to do with the story),as a result any time someone communicates via sign-language, the screen goes black and displays what that person just mimed. (A nifty tool, reminiscent of the old silent films.)(Just figured I'd add that)

At its best this movie shows us the tumbling snowball that is vengeance. There is no definitive villian here. Everyone has been wronged, and seeks revenge, but its a vicious cycle, and everyone has someone who loves them and will carry it out on their behalf. At its worst, it's a slow movie that takes way too long to get where its going, and when it finally does, you feel cheated. Don't go into it expecting alot of blood, and violence,(I unfortunately did),there's some but its so spread out it's ineffective & unfulfilling.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Park Chan-wooks Sympathy For Mr Vengeance
The first movie of Park Chan-wooks vengeance trilogy may be a Delicious feast for Park fans but if your not familiar with his work than maybe you may not find it as thrilling but... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Judy Velvet
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what makes foreign films special
Great. Emotions, clever twists, raw.
It is worth getting! Enjoy your time with this film!
I liked this more than old boy!
Published 10 months ago by The the
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the standards Park set with the second and third movies in...
Boksuneun Naui Geot (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) (Chan-wook Park, 2002)

I was wowed by Oldboy (6Feb2006 ish), like pretty much everyone else, and I thought Lady... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Robert Beveridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
This series is one of my favorites, but not for the faint at heart. It is such a well. Made movie and the story line is so complicated, you really get sucked in and think about it... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Melissa R. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful Who You Kill!...
SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE is a cautionary tale of illegal organ dealers, desperation, a kidnapping-gone-horribly-wrong, revenge, and counter-revenge. Read more
Published on January 20, 2012 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
1.0 out of 5 stars deserves 0 stars
This movie was excessively hard to follow in efforts to appear "artistic" and painfully slow to sit through. Read more
Published on January 1, 2012 by Got 2b
5.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Visionary director Park Chan-Wook burst on to the scene with this, the first in a set of three action-packed suspense thrillers dubbed "The Vengeance Trilogy." SYMPATHY FOR MR. Read more
Published on November 1, 2010 by Carl Manes
5.0 out of 5 stars must see!
a part of the "vengeance trilogy", along with lady vengeance and oldboy.

i wont describe it, but is you like asian films, this one has a place on your shelf
Published on August 16, 2010 by el cranki
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance is whose?
Betrayed by black market organ dealers, a man (Shin Ha-kyun) kidnaps the daughter (Han Bo-bae) of a company CEO (Song Kang-Ho) in order to earn money to save his ill sister (Lim... Read more
Published on January 17, 2010 by David Bonesteel
5.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance Review-a MUST SEE Movie!
They say there is a first time for everything, well my reaction after Park Chan-wook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Boksuneun naui geot - 2002# was definitely a first for me. Read more
Published on January 7, 2010 by A. DiGiovanna
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First, some people do read the forums. Second, I've heard this film is awesome and I would like it see it. Third, "People don't scroll don't enough...", huh??
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