VENGEANCE - On DemandAugust 19, 2010
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: VENGEANCE.
Email Lorisa Bates
Although I am not familiar with Director Johnnie To’s other crime films set in Hong Kong, from the first frame of the movie, To’s VENGEANCE immediately reminded me of the intensity found in the DEATH WISH movies starring Charles Bronson produced in the 1970s.
In the American films, a bad-ass cop takes revenge on the people who bring harm to his family. In To’s movie, French rocker Johnny Hallyday plays a chef named Costello, who heads to Macau after his daughter’s husband and children are assassinated by triad of hitmen.
A former killer himself, Costello, soon falls in with a trio of hitmen--Kwai (Anthony Wong), Chu (Gordon Lam), and Lok (Lam Suet), whom he hires to help him on his quest for retribution. Unfortunately, the man who ordered the hit turns out to be none other than the boss of Costello’s new friends (Simon Yam), and it becomes increasingly unlikely that anyone will be left alive.
Although the narrative is predictable, the film derides strength from its intense characterizations. With great performances from Hallyday as the justifiably vindictive lead who suffers from memory loss due to a bullet lodged in his head and from Wong, Lam and Suet who play a bunch of interestingly cool, moody murderers and quirky oddballs. Notwithstanding is Yam’s portrayal of a morally corrupt yet gleeful mob boss.
Visually, the film includes plenty of rich colors, pronounced use of shadows and graceful slow motion gunplay with misty eruptions of blood filling the air. Dark, stylized and dramatically shot, the movie starts off in fast gear, with bloody action eventually paving the way for the themes of brotherhood and revenge to be highly effective.
It’s hard to imagine that fans of To will be disappointed. VENGEANCE sets its standards high as an effortlessly cool thriller.
- Lorisa Bates
Lorisa Bates is a contributing writer for On Demand Weekly.
VENGEANCE is Available On Demand Until 10/26/10
Run time: 108 minutes / TV MA
Previous Reviews by Lorisa Bates: