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Lady Vengeance (R)

Release Date: April 28h, 2006 (Angelika Film Center and AMC Empire 25) by Tartan Films.
The Cast: Lee Yeong-ae, Choi Min-sik, Oh Dal-su, Kim Si-hu, Lee Seung-shin, Kim Bu-sun.
Directed by Park Chan-wook.
In Korean and Japanese with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Upon her release from prison, Geum-ja (Yeong-ae) exacts revenge on Mr.Baek (Min-sik), the man who put her there.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although consistently stylish and well-directed, Lady Vengeance is not nearly as fun to watch as Oldboy and less surprising than Sympathy for Mr.Vengeance. After being incarcerated for 13 years for crimes she claims she didnít commit, Geum-ja through the rest of the film to revenge Mr.Baek. What could have been a lively, imaginative second act instead feels too bleak with blood, pointless and redundant violence. Geum-ja is, by no means, likeable as a character, although neither was Uma Thurmanís character in the Kill Bill seriesóboth are anti-heroes. But, unlike Quentin Tarantino, director and co-writer Park Chan-wook doesnít make you root for anyone. There is some dark humor, but not enough to really liven things upóa fat, sexually-abusive lesbian from jail comes across as awkward and shocking rather than funny. Chan-wook simply cares too much about visuals and shocking without compensating for the lack of suspense and thrills from this ultimately forgettable revenge film.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: An unsurprising plot and pointless violence.


IN A NUTSHELL: Well-directed and shocking, but with no surprises, suspense or thrills to spare.


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