Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) [second viewing]

Most of what I said last October still holds, except that the muted hopelessness of the film's second half makes more sense to me now. It's a film about the inadequecy of human response in the face of tragedy and horror. The characters here try to salve their pain by punishing those parties they hold responsible for their loss, but at the end of it their loved ones are still gone. When our two hollow-eyed, hollow-souled protagonists meet at the end, I think they both realize this. The climax thus is comprised of the saddest, most agonized revenge in screen history. And then there's the coda, which takes this and shifts it into a grim sick joke (only institutions can wipe out their enemies without losing their humanity, since they have none to lose). Still feels like it should be better than it is, but I have to give credit where it's due.

Grade: B (up from B-)


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