7.7/10
55,550
130 user 140 critic

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Boksuneun naui geot (original title)
Trailer
2:12 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Chan-wook Park
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years and having her child taken away from her, a woman seeks revenge through increasingly cruel and brutal means.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim
Thirst (2009)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hee-jin Choi
The Chaser (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.

Director: Hong-jin Na
Stars: Yoon-Seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-Hyuk Lee
Oldeuboi (2003)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-a Shin, Yeong-cheol Kim
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-Hun Lee, Kang-ho Song
Mother (2009)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Stars: Won Bin, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Soo-jung Lim, Rain, Seong-hun Cheon
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a plot to defraud her.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Min-hee Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Jin-Woong Cho
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Kang-ho Song ... Dong-jin Park
Ha-kyun Shin ... Ryu
Doona Bae ... Yeong-mi Cha
Ji-Eun Lim Ji-Eun Lim ... Ryu's Sister
Bo-bae Han Bo-bae Han ... Yu-sun
Se-dong Kim Se-dong Kim ... Chief of Staff
Dae-yeon Lee Dae-yeon Lee ... Choe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masashi Fujimoto Masashi Fujimoto ... Peng
Ju-bong Gi Ju-bong Gi
Gyu-su Jeong Gyu-su Jeong
Jae-yeong Jeong ... Husband of Dong-jin's ex-wife's
Kan-hie Lee Kan-hie Lee ... Dong-jin Park's ex-wife
Kwang-rok Oh Kwang-rok Oh ... Anarchist
Jae-woong Park Jae-woong Park
Seung-bum Ryoo ... Retarded Boy at River (as Seung-beom Ryu)
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

Revenge Was Never This Sweet

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

South Korea

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,827, 21 August 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$45,289, 16 February 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,954,937, 25 March 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

After the enormous success of 'Joint Security Area', Park Chan Wook was given "carte blanche" to make whatever film he wanted in Korea. After searching for another "vengence-minded" script with no success, he finished the script he was working on before making 'Joint Security Area'. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Park Dong-jin: I know you're a good guy... but you know why I have to kill you...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title card of the film is shown in both Korean and English. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Growing Up Fisher: Trust Fall (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Well crafted and challenging
12 April 2003 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

Vengeance is one of humanity's more lamentable instincts, and one we'll have to overcome as a species one day. When one acts out of vengeance one seeks only to hurt, and when people start hurting each other because they're hurt themselves, everybody ends up hurting and nobody really gains anything.

I think that's the main message Park Chan-Wook wants us to take away from SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, though the movie is complex and oblique and doubtless open to many interpretations. It is a challenging movie in many ways - the story is never spelled out clearly, leaving the viewer to deduce many key events and motivations. Dialogue is sparse, and this is not solely attributable to the fact that the main character is deaf and dumb. The movie also challenges - almost terrorises - with its bleakness and occasional scenes of quite disturbing violence and gore.

SFMV is an ambitious project, and one that doesn't fit into any established cinematic mould. The story, characters, themes and aesthetics are all very unusual and creative. I can't think of any other film that's quite like it, though at times I likened the experience to that of watching certain Takashi Miike movies. Actually, Kim Ki-Duk's movies are probably the closest point of reference, though Park Chan-Wook's film is smarter.

SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE is not a movie I'd choose for a movie night with friends, or one that I'd lend or recommend to most of the people I know. Perhaps I'm unfair in my assessment of my friends, but I can't think of many that would enjoy it. Actually I'm surprised that the film is held in such wide regard, as its not a conventional film or an easy film, and is far more art than entertainment. In my experience that narrows a film's audience significantly, but I've yet to hear anybody express a negative reaction to the film. I guess originality and technical virtuosity are still appreciated after all - perhaps more so by those that have gravitated to Korean cinema in recent years than in other groups, since they are most often to be found there.

With JSA and SFMV, Park Chan-Wook has definitely shown himself to be one of the brightest figures in the new wave of Korean directors. Both are very well crafted in pretty much every respect. The cast of SFMV also deserve commendation for their performances, which are all good. Song Kang-Ho steals the show with a wonderfully understated performance, though.

Recommended, but make sure you know what you're getting.


100 of 115 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 130 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed