Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
"Boksuneun naui geot" (original title)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  29 March 2002 (South Korea)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 43,362 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 126 user | 134 critic | 21 from

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.


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Credited cast:
Ji-Eun Lim ...
Ryu's Sister
Bo-bae Han ...
Se-dong Kim ...
Chief of Staff
Dae-yeon Lee ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ju-bong Gi
Gyu-su Jeong
Husband of Dong-jin's ex-wife's
Kan-hie Lee ...
Dong-jin Park's ex-wife
Kwang-rok Oh ...
Jae-woong Park
Seung-wan Ryoo ...
Delivery Boy


In Seoul, Ryu, a deaf worker has a sister who needs a kidney transplant. He tries to donate his own kidney to his sister, but his blood type is not compatible with hers. When Ryu is fired from Ilshin Electronics, he meets illegal dealers of organs, and the criminals propose that he give them his kidney plus ten millions Won to obtain a kidney suitable for his sister. Ryu accepts the trade, but he does not have money to pay for the surgery. His anarchist revolutionary girlfriend Cha Young-mi convinces him to kidnap Yossun, the daughter of his former employer Park, who owns Ilshin Electronics. However, a tragedy happens, generating revenge and a series of acts of violence. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Revenge Was Never This Sweet


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong gruesome violence, strong sexuality, language and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

29 March 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,827 (USA) (19 August 2005)


$45,243 (USA) (10 February 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Seung-beom Ryu (Disabled man at river) Spent time with individuals who have cerebral palsy to study their movement. See more »


In the ransom photo of Yoosun, she is wearing the necklace Ryu made. However, he hadn't given her the necklace when he took the photo, it was later, when he traded the necklace for her doll. See more »


Cha Yeong-mi: The bad image kidnappers get is because of kids getting killed. But we're different. Give us the money and we'll return the kid pronto.
See more »


Referenced in Koma (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Horror doesn't always have to be bad
19 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a work by one of my favorite new directors, was a very different movie then what i originally expected. Having seen Oldboy, I was expecting a much different film. However, Chanwook Park pleasantly surprised me with the first part of his revenge trilogy. The plot line is brutal, but the visceral appeal of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance lies in the motives. Nothing is random, everything is explained, and the viewer can understand why every action is called for. However, this is a brutal movie. The action is tough, the dialogue minimal, with no quick cuts or mindful music. That being said, it is never grotesque and the gore never gets to be too much. The visual images in this movie will stay with you for days, and the cinematography is flawless. I would recommend this movie for fans of the horror genre looking for an exciting new film, and people that do not watch horror movies because they are usually pointless works in gore. Few if any criticisms, the lack of music works both for and against the film, as I found myself sometimes shifting away from the screen. 9 out of 10, highly recommended, but brutal.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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