Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

Released 2002


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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

Movie Summary

Chan-wook Park
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a 2002 South Korean drama and the first film in writer-director Park Chan-wook's Vengeance Trilogy, which also includes 2003's Oldboy and 2005's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. This film stars Shin Ha-kyun as Ryu, a kind-hearted deaf man who finds himself on a bloody quest in search of a cure for his sister's fatal illness. Ryu's sister needs a kidney transplant and she needs it soon. Her health is failing her and Ryu is the only one she can depend on. Ryu works in a factory for meager pay. He asks the doctors if he can donate one of his kidneys to his sister, but unfortunately their blood types don't match. Feeling helpless, Ryu turns to the black market to find an organ donor. When his dealings with the criminal traders go awry, Ryu is left with no money and no kidney, forced to watched his sister's steady decline. With no other options, he sets out on a bloody quest to save his sister before it's too late. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is a hard-hitting drama, co-starring Song Kang-ho and Bae Doona.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    When it comes to serving up diabolical horror with bold, sophisticated glee, Park, best known for "Oldboy," is right up there with Dario Argento, Guillermo del Toro and Takashi Miike.

  • 50

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    There is so much talent on display in Park Chanwook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, it is a drag that the film never rises to the level of its director's obvious ability.

  • 25

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    So badly told that it ends up dissecting a corruption that exudes from nowhere but itself.

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Foreign Language