Sympathy for Lady Vengeance - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance Reviews

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May 25, 2016
Le cinéma cinéma sud-coréen n'as plus grand chose à envier à celui d'Hollywood tant on y retrouve des oeuvres de qualités et Sympathy for Lady Vengeance est tout simplement excellent. Par le réalisateur d'Old Boy (la version originale) ce film est aussi brutal que fantastique avec une solide performance de l'actrice principale Lee Young-ae
February 26, 2016
Beutifully edited, nicely expressed movie. But there are too much jokes in the movie that I don't like. The colors are the very motives to get the movie on.
½ February 23, 2016
Perhaps the strongest and most beautiful movie from the revenge trilogy. Acting, storytelling and directing, everything is superb.
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2012
It annoys me when Chan-wook Park and Asian extreme cinema is compared to Quentin Tarantino all the time. It's a lazy and poor comparison. Chan-wook Park is a maestro rather than a disc-Jockey, he proved it with Oldboy and backed it up with Lady Vengeance. Revenge films are pretty frequent these days, Chan-wook Park is one of the very few directors who have a fresh take on the genres - and he's now done it three times! Slick, stylish, controversial and original. A great film.
½ December 3, 2015
Lady Vengeance is a powerful movie which starts just like any other movie. With flashbacks which introduces new characters. Then it starts making a shape which is not much different then many of the revenge movies. However, it really gets interesting during last half an hour. Revenge for yourself is not enough, let other serve this dish at the best of the time. Yet it finds little comic moments. There are some questions which are left unanswered as is the ending confusing but it is very satisfying with it's climax which is brutal yet clean and impressive. Most powerful of all the the direction and acting. Every one on screen has been marvellous. Cinematography also needs a mention so does the editing. Background score is very experimental and could be held single mean of amusement in the movie.
April 13, 2009
Brilliant and sad. Lady Vengeance is a brilliant and apt ending for the Vengeance trilogy...however, it does not live up to the greatness of the first 2 installments.

First the majority of the movie I felt nothing at all for the main lead. She was portrayed as a killer, and yet always claimed her innocence. She was part of a conspiracy that lead to the death of a child, yet claimed it was basically OK because it wasn't her fault. Then when we are in the small room with her, the families of the victims and the videos of the deaths of the children are played. It all changes.

We feel for her pain, but also empathize because she wants the families to have their vengeance too. Even though she wants them to actualize the vengeance for her, I could easily connect with this character and the families.

They symbolism of the white cake was wonderfully done.

I am left happy overall with the Vengeance trilogy, especially as the redemption of the main lead brings the vengeance to a halt. There is no more vengeance to be had. The families are whole and can move on knowing the proper killer is now 'removed', and she can now spend time with her daughter.
November 8, 2011
Revenge of Lady Vengeance just got sweeter, more beautiful and bold in comparison to the Mr. Vengeance. While Park's previous works are more subtle or slow in revealing it's revenge plots, this waste no time in doing so. While I find it's visually more stunning, yet the idea of revenge is not as new and thought-provoking than Oldboy. Nevertheless, still a grand finale to Park's "Revenge" Trilogy
½ September 19, 2015
Saw this on 19/9/15
Apart from Old boy, none of the other films of Park Chan-wook have the ability to hold the interest of the audience, Lady Vengeance begins with promise, but just like the way in which revenge is portrayed in the film, the film too is shabby and pedestrian. Like the first Sympathy film, ie for Mr Vengeance, this one too is a pointless film. Compared to the first film, this one has more pace, bur a lack of purpose is evident. Song Kang-ho and Min-sik Choi have nothing to do in this film as well.
January 10, 2013
This movie made me cry. I typically do not like dramas at all but this movie is in a league of it's own. From the same director of the movie Old Boy this film follows that style where it takes you up and down and rips out your heart and shows it to you. Not for the faint of heart. Do not watch it alone. You will need to be comforted afterwards.
½ August 30, 2015
"Step aside please".

The style of 'Park Chan-wook' is in full force with the final chapter in his vengeance trilogy. The first 20 minutes or so contains a long look at main character 'Geum-ja' (Lee Young-ae), a scene that is moved on via a cell door being opened and an overdone (seemingly) movie version of the violent 'Geum-ja' has committed. More so with each film it's easy to see 'Park Chan-wook' in it. Arguably at times it's a little odd but with 'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' it's more pronounced.

'Sympathy for Lady Vengeance' is once again different to other films whilst still keeping the flashes of flair and visceral violence. After serving 15 years in prison for a crime she did not commit 'Geum-ja' is intent on revenge but also redemption. The start of the film is pretty quick, introducing former cell mates who have all been helped by 'Geum-ja' at some point. Her plan for revenge has been 15 years in the making, it's a calculated plan - oppose to the quick attempt of 'Dae-su' in 'Oldboy' this has fermented and boiled over time.

The first half of the film is all about that build-up as she goes from friend to friend. It's clear before she went in she was a sweet girl earning the name 'Kind-Hearted Geum-ja' a name that she doesn't like. A naive girl who trusted the wrong person going in a laser focused stone faced women when she comes out.

Unlike the previous two films this isn't cut and dry for her quest for revenge. She practises her resolve on something else...let's leave it at that. When she gets what she wants her resolve is eased and decides she isn't the one to dole out the revenge. The third act is a long drawn out slow process full of disturbing video, screaming and bloodshed. With those involved the acts despite being questionable are visibly cathartic and needed to put somewhat of a close to things. It did lose me in parts the confusing start and middle section are a little underwhelming without developing much - and a portion of the last 15 minutes or so didn't really need to be there for me.

A good close to an excellent trilogy of films. I'd argue it's the weakest of the bunch but that's much of an insult given it's a pretty damn good film. Displaying the style and bloodshed present in the previous films and also giving something different. (it's nice seeing a conclusion that isn't a disaster for the main character.
August 29, 2015
Beautifully shot and exquisitely crafted, Lady Vengeance takes more narrative detours than its two predecessors, but it sports the best-written central character of the bunch- Geum-ja, marvelously portrayed by Lee Young-ae
December 13, 2012
Perhaps not quite as good as Oldboy, Lady Vengeance nonetheless is a stylistic and near-masterful exercise in art-house revenge. [A-]
½ February 5, 2007
I thought this would be the best in the trilogy, but I think it is tied with Oldboy.
½ May 24, 2015
1/2 a star. Boring May be because I have not seen its 2 prequels.
½ May 10, 2015
Not only is Sympathy for Lady Vengeance thrilling and violent, but it's also heart-warming and filled with compassion.
January 22, 2015
Out of the three Park Chan-wook vengeance films, this one is the weakest. Oldboy is probably one of the greatest foreign films of all time and one of my personal favorite movies. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a very good movie, but not quite as good as Oldboy. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance is just okay. It has the same style and (surprisingly) a lot more humor. Many of the familiar players from Oldboy, so the acting is very good as well. However, seeing all of these actors just made me wish I was watching Oldboy again.

It's probably not fair to compare Lady Vengeance to the other two movies. How could this ever live up to those movies? Still, I just found myself sitting and watching this movie and waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was expecting many twists and turns in the plot, but Lady Vengeance is the most straightforward plot of the trilogy. This doesn't really help when the plot is VERY similar to Kill Bill. I didn't really care for the Ms. Geum-ja character either. I didn't really sympathize for her (which I understand wasn't necessarily what Park Chan-wook was going for) so I didn't really care if she ended up with her daughter again or got her vengeance (in fact, I expected it to be revealed she was more sinister and devious than she was letting on).

It's just a weak plot, even if on the surface it has all the makeup that made Oldboy so good.
November 24, 2014
Immaculate visuals. Composition, framing, colours. It's a beautiful film, perhaps just as if not more stunning as Oldboy. Though the story just didn't catch my attention as much as Oldboy did. Lee Young Ae's performance was perf. Another amazing soundtrack by Jo Yeong Wook again. It doesn't have the same intensity as Oldboy but emotions are rampant.
½ November 22, 2014
Park Chan Wook's exceptional direction give a heart and a soul to this movie. The script, with great ideas, is as smart, interesting, and violent as expected.
June 12, 2014
amazing movie. this is a work of art in so many ways. phenomenal directing. so many different levels to this movie. awesome original smart story that takes you where you don't expect. great music that sets a perfect tone for the movie. i normally dont care much for this but great symbolism/metaphors/imagery, etc so emotional and so meaningful, made you feel with the characters.


I loved the white tofu in the beginning that she refused because she knew she was going to sin and the white cake that looked like tofu at the end, when she put her face in it to show what i think means she wants to be good. Also after she completes her plan she sees the ghost of the child she helped kidnapped to see if she has achieved redemption but the gag on the child ends up in her mouth showing that she still doesn't feel redeemed or deserving of forgiveness. the birthday cake for all the dead children was very moving. is she an angel or a devil??? (2 views)
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