A convoluted hodge-podge of time frames, subplots and bit player back stories.
Stream Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
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A wildly inventive, highly cinematic director's showcase that looks likely, at least in the West, to enthuse fans of Asian -- especially Korean -- genre movies more than general auds.
Mixes comedy and melodrama to a typically baroque degree. Like his "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," the film displays an audacious visual and narrative style, often sacrificing credibility and coherence along the way. But there is no denying its originality.
Lady Vengeance contains violence (some extreme), but it is not an action film. It is deliberately paced, allowing the audience to have time to reflect upon what's happening. And the comedy is of the gallows variety.
Less bloody than its predecessors, Lady Vengeance wraps up with a killer (literally) finale that calls into question the killer instinct. It's one of the reasons Park's brutal films are so emotionally rewarding.
It concludes Park's trilogy on a dual note of circular tragedy and fragile hope, while working equally well as an introduction to his universe of retribution and repentance or as a stand-alone thriller with a darkly feminist twist.
As much as Lady Vengeance spins around its implacable protagonist like a rabid dog on a rope, the film becomes in its last, galling act an unlikely but stunning ensemble piece.
It takes patience and industry to make sense of the first half, intestinal fortitude to deal with the second, and a little flexibility to make the transition from one to the other. But the whole process adds up to a fairly impressive two-stage thrill ride, like rafting through choppy waters, then plummeting over a waterfall into a dark and deadly pit.
If you've seen either of the first two flicks in this outrageous series - "Oldboy" and "Sympathy for Mister Vengeance" - you know what's coming. Novices should prepare for mind-bending bloodshed and violence.