Combustible Celluloid
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With: Shin Ha-kyun, Bae Doona, Choi Min-sik, Kang Hye-jeong, Lee Yeong-ae
Written by: Park Chan-wook, Chung Seo-kyung
Directed by: Park Chan-wook
MPAA Rating: R
Language: Korean, with English subtitles
Running Time: 360
Date: 18/03/2013

Vengeance Trilogy (2010)

4 Stars (out of 4)

Ladies and Misters

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Park Chan-wook's "Vengeance Trilogy" was certainly one of the high points in Asian cinema -- as well as action cinema -- in the past decade. Linked not by plot but by theme, and occasionally featuring the same actors in different roles, each film was better than the one before. They leave a weird impression; it's easy to get excited about them, even if they're not always easy to watch. Park is not gentle with his audience. The idea of vengeance is not fun. It's elaborate, all-consuming, exhausting, and sometimes downright painful. Now Palisades Tartan has released an extraordinary Blu-Ray box set of all three films, plus a new glossy booklet with photos and essays. Each disc comes with plenty of extras, including at least one Park Chan-wook commentary track on each. Lady Vengeance comes with two discs, including an entire second cut of the film, the director's preferred "Fade to White" version. For more details, please see my individual reviews for Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003) and Lady Vengeance (2005).
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