Vengeance (Fuk sau) (2010)
A former assassin, now a French chef, comes to Hong Kong to avenge his daughter whose family was murdered.
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Critic Reviews for Vengeance (Fuk sau)
Few directors make ac tion movies with the pizazz of Hong Kong's Johnnie To...
Both newcomers to Mr. To and longtime admirers should be prepared for a master class in directing.
You need to be one helluva director to pull off using kids' stickers as a climactic plot point; this auteur makes it look like child's play.
Vengeance tempers tough-guy sentimentality with schoolyard existentialism.
To's smooth, balletic style, noirish lighting schemes and compositions are made for the big screen...
To does a fantastic job of providing a good sense of style and structure to the numerous action scenes, but they're not over the top or cartoonish.
Resting firmly on this relentless pacing, Vengeance becomes obsessed with the lasting effect of vengeance on the traditional machinations of plot and character.
Grieving father hires three hit men to avenge his daughter's family. Accomplished thriller marks Hong Kong director Johnnie To's first European co-production.
Gaunt and weathered, Hallyday is superb casting... and slips right in to [Johnnie] To's brand of taciturn camaraderie and silent communication...
Johnny Hallyday and Johnnie To's glorious throwback to bitter bullets and bloody revenge
Veteran Hong Kong filmmaker To mixes the grand gestures of John Woo with the tactics of Christopher Nolan's Memento; the result ranges from the silly to the sublime.
To's focus is less about gunning down the bad guys - although there's plenty of that - than crystallizing with precision the visceral sensations surrounding violence, and the many metaphysical looming silences in between, as if lyrical canvases in motion.
To derives from maestro John Woo and there is much influence by the older filmmaker in the spirit of the film. This is not necessarily a bad thing but more originality would have helped.
Director Johnnie To...delivers a terrific Asian noir featuring stunning cinematography, balletic gunplay...and a better than average story that harkens back to the 2003 Dutch/Belgian "The Memory of a Killer"
much as To inverted the policier with a Mad Detective, here he presents us with the genre-subverting paradox of a forgetful avenger, determined to find satisfaction, but unable to remember for what or from whom.
...the movie doesn't entirely go off the rails until the first major shoot-out rolls around...
To's visual style and soundscapes and the choreography of the film's bullet ballet provide reasons to watch, but the contrived plot, some wooden English dialogue and Hallyday's stilted perfomance derail proceedings well before the final showdown.
Audience Reviews for Vengeance (Fuk sau)
Apparently Johnnie To is a big deal, but this is the first I've ever heard of him or his work. All I really knew about this was that Ebert gave it a rave review, and it sounded kind of intriguing.
Well, now that I've seen it, I can say that I think Ebert was wrong.
What we get here is the story of a French chef and former assassin with a failing memory who travels to Hong Kong and Macau to avenge the murders of his daughter's family with the help of a few hitmen he meets along the way.
It's a typical revenge film, but also has a lot of artistry to it. Problem is, it's just a run of the mill genre exercise that also happens to be pretty slow and boring, and not really that engaging. I didn't really care for the characters or what was happening, but at least the film looks nice, has some well executed action setpieces, and some striking violence.
That's pretty much it though. It was kinda disappointing on several levels, but it also doesn't help that I recently watched 2/3 of "The Vengeance Trilogy", and was far more impressed by those than I was by this ho-hum actioner with distracting accents and dubbing, and all around inconsistencies in the sound department.
A French restaurateur travels to China and enlists the help of a trio of guns for hire to track down the killers who murdered his daughter's family. Johnny To once again employs his elegantly understated direction and visual flair to create a HK style gangster movie from the classic "heroic bloodshed" school. It lifts elements from many sources, particularly a laconic anti-hero very much in the vein of Takeshi Kitano, bloody Peckinpah-esque shoot-outs and even a Memento style plot device to create a film that may not be original but oozes style in a similar way to Chan Wook Park's own Vengeance trilogy. Highlights include some brilliantly orchestrated action sequences, the pick of which being a beautiful looking running gun battle through a moonlit forest that's almost reminiscent of Zhang Yimou's poetic martial arts films. It could be accused of style over substance, but the style is beautiful and the result is something akin to a classic John Woo gangster film with all the cheesy sentimentality that marred them wisely removed.More
To does it again, and again, and again. Clever play of cultural exchanges, the right ammount of dialogues, the right ammount of action. To could direct a commercial about tea and make it the most badass thing ever. There should also be a national day to celebrate the greatness of Simon Yam all over the world.More
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