Finally managed to find some time to go and watch VENGEANCE, the new Johnnie To movie. One could not but think of Park Chan-wook’s vengeance trilogy (SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, OLD BOY and SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE) and make mental notes.
However, I feel that Johnnie To’s motive is not the same as Park’s also touching on the same subject. Johnnie To is more inclined to make visually stunning movies, cool movies. Watch SPARROW. What a cool movie it is. Johnnie’s movies are more about brotherhood and honour, about being cool, about “Yi Hei”, which reminds one of John Woo’s brotherhood movies such as A BETTER TOMORROW, only that Johnnie’s films are more extravagantly cool looking (the killer’s black raincoat uniform even though it was not raining, the cigarette smoking scene in SPARROW, the umbrella scenes in both SPARROW and VENGEANCE, the bicycle shooting scene in VENGEANCE, etc. etc.)
In fact, Johnnie’s films has always been cool. The scenes always so idiosyncratic and memorable (remember the shopping complex shoot-out scene in THE MISSION?).
So what is this VENGEANCE movie about? The plot is simple. Everything is in the execution. The topic of vengeance was not touched upon the way Park Chan-wook did. The movie is just about a family got killed by some killers and the wife’s father came and wanted revenge. And he himself hired killers to hunt his enemies down. That’s all. But go watch and see for yourself how the film was shot.
By the way, Wong Kar Wai’s ASHES OF TIME REDUX is now showing in the GSC International screens.
Also, I watched UP and love it! Don’t miss UP.