An image from I Saw the Devil, to which I couldn't help but think of you know what!
I had heard a lot of buzz about Jee-woon Kim's I Saw the Devil [Akmareul boatda] so I thought I would give it a spin in the DVD player (it went direct-to-DVD here in Australia) despite my general ambivalence towards ultra violent East Asian cinema that isn't Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Despite an opening that is fantastically staged and scary, a great lead performance by Byung-hun Lee and some truly expert fight choreography, I found the movie to be nothing all too special. It's not as painfully ugly as Oldboy - yes, a contentious opinion to hold - although there's potentially an interesting discussion to be had about Choi Min-sik starring as the wronged man in Oldboy and now, in Devil, the man doing the wrongs and the way a past injustice can turn a man into a "devil". In fact, Choi's sadistic serial killer could have easily been the same character that he played in Oldboy if, you know, he still had a tongue.
Still, all of that would be reaching as I found I Saw the Devil to be like so many others. Nothing particularly new being said here as far as I could tell, but maybe those who like Oldboy can spot the social commentary.
My knowledge of this genre of film is admitted quite limited and I never did complete Chan-wook Park's revenge trilogy with Sympathy for Mr Vengeance; perhaps I figured it was a gender thing and just preferred the nihilism when there's a woman at the front? And before you start going all Freudian on me, I would say that that has more to do with my actressexual leanings than anything else. Anyway, I Saw the Devil? C. The Poster (to the right)? Still an A, even though I liked it more when I thought I Saw the Devil was a horror movie :/