Johnnie To films feature lots of people dying valiantly for some code they live by. And maybe that's a problem. The sheer pointlessness of it all. Vengeance is empty. There's a scene where the hero forgets what he's doing, a la Memento, and he doesn't remember why he's there. They have to remind him, and that's precisely the wrong thing to do. Best to forget and move on, if you can.
Articulate without even once flirting with drama, Vengeance is purely an action film. So well constructed in its plot mechanizations that recall westerns, a blase-cool style of Melville crime flicks, and action setpieces that can only be described as fluidly setup, musically directed, and strikingly poetic. To even homages a famous scene in the 1931 flick M and redefines its context to a shootout mixed with Memento.
Contrast between Macao's colourful nights and Costello's black hat and coat, contrast between spaghetti with Italian sauce and noodles with exotic flavors. A few superb scenes like the fight under the moon and the scene of the umbrellas. A good surprise. Recommended.
Johnny To knows exactly what he's doing. To's obsessions are too obvious here, but only because he uses tradition and cliche to undermine the all the tradition and cliche he's built up to in the film's fascinating and infuriating third act. Its moments: a floating boomerang, rolling bales of trash, and endless umbrellas on a rainy day, act like half-remembered moments of lonely souls, confirming a singular vision.
Le scene d'azione sono semplicemente sublimi: le sparatorie con quei ritmi dilatati e quegli accompagnamenti musicali sembrano uscite dall'epica di Leone. Per il resto è una "semplice" storia di vendetta in cui oriente e occidente si uniscono nel fuoco che poi consuma tutto. Splendido il personaggio protagonista e i tre killer. Finale da sturbo.
Altro saggio del talento di Jonnie To: "Vendicami" è un potente saggio sulla vendetta,purissima ed elevata all'ennesima potenza.Tra ironia e citazionismo,To costruisce una storia folle con passaggi super-azzeccati,dal personaggio del cuoco-sicario,alle fotografie alla Memento,al finale chiaramente leoniano per stile e movimenti.La sparatoria con le balle nel campo è da annali.Grande grande regista.4*
elegante, freddo, epico. gente che si vendica dall'inizio alla fine del film, in modo contagioso, fino a perdere di significato, a dimenticarsi perchè si è iniziato. cose belle: le pallottole d'inchiostro rosso mattone; il momento prima della mega sparatoria nella discarica del cugino di kwai; il dialogo a tavola con i sicari ( kwai: who are you? / costello: i'm a chef. / kwai: a chef.. chef my ass!)
The cinematography, art and production design rank highest among the very best I've seen in years. These aspects of filmmaking will make Park Chan Wok proud. The story quite meanders, however, with the addition of a useless surreal subplot just before the few final sequence. But these story glitches are easily forgiven and Vengeance still makes To one of the best living world filmmakers.
"What does revenge mean when you've forgotten everything?" The answer, of course, is nothing, but by the point anyone realizes that, vengeance has become such a ravenous parasite that it transfers hosts to continue to live. Motion is a key aspect of all of To's films, but here it seems to embody the termitic jumps of the drive for revenge among characters both villainous and heroic (for want of a better phrase).
To's vengeance is not a real catharsis for our hero, he deprives him of the basis for this halfway through the film and lets the memories of all this thirst for blood melt away in the rain. The end of the film is then for example no longer really a search for an actual puppeteer but a search for visual clues which identify him as such. All thats left are traces of his evil deeds in the faces of other people.
Mr. To's most atmospheric, visually lavish and full-blooded noir; makes ingenious use of expressionism and pathetic fallacy. The landfill skirmish in particular -- with those clumsy, lumbering bales of garbage providing just enough cover for the men to pause and coyly light cigarettes -- grasps a Kitano-esque juxtaposition of youthful charm and mechanical violence.
like quite a few Johnnie To films, this movie gets needlessly convoluted in parts when he decides to add so many ideas into one story. so many of the elements in this film seem haphazardly thrown in at various points throughout the film and it really hampers an otherwise not so bad film.