HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
   
 
Newest Articles
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
   
 
  Vengeance Guy Forgets
Year: 2009
Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Testud, Anthony Wong, Ka Tung Lam, Suet Lam, Simon Yam, Siu-Fai Cheung, Flix Wong, Ng Ting Yip, Maggie Siu, Vincent Sze, Michelle Ye
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: French chef and restaurant owner with a past Costello (Johnny Hallyday) has flown into Macau on a mission since he heard the terrible news that his daughter Irene (Sylvie Testud) has been shot and gravely injured. To make matters worse, her husband was killed outright by these mysterious hitmen, followed by her two young sons who were hiding in a cupboard to escape the murderers, but to no avail. Costello meets with the now-mute Irene in the hospital and manages to get some information that might help in solving this crime...

Vengeance was director Johnnie To's third part of a loose, thematic trilogy begun with The Mission and continued with one of his greatest works, Exiled, but the reaction to this closing instalment was not quite as warm. For a start, audiences were unsure of Hallyday taking the lead, and no wonder when the role had been earmarked for another French entertainment icon in Alain Delon, who had eventually turned the part down for his own reasons. This was a shame in that the connections between this hitman crime thriller and the works of Jean-Pierre Melville would have been all the stronger if Delon had starred after all.

Hallyday didn't quite have the same cultural baggage, he had earned his fame certainly, and had appeared in a variety of movies before, but it was singing he was best known for: imagine if To had cast Tom Jones or Engelbert Humperdinck had this been a British co-production instead of a Hong Kong-France one. Adding to the distractions was that Hallyday had obviously undergone a plastic surgery disaster at some point, leaving his eyes especially looking very strange indeed, as if there were clothes pegs hidden under his hairline to try (and fail) to create the appearance of a younger man.

As the dialogue was in Cantonese, French and English you might have hoped the Gallic Elvis Presley would have more luck in that department, but he offered a curiously awkward performance, either that or he saw fit to keep as straight a face as possible (maybe not too difficult for him by this stage). The English lines sounded wooden, unfortunate when that was the only language Costello and the three brothers he hires as his own hitmen communicate in, but then he didn't sound any more adept at French and other than a distinct stillness to his performance there was a lack of charisma otherwise.

Better were the three brothers, led by To movie regular Anthony Wong, who conveyed much needed cool to the plot, which for the first half sailed to close to conventional, or at least not much we had not seen before. Yet then as Costello is taken to meet with the killers, there's the expected shootout, but with a twist when he is shot in the shoulder and in an item of dubious medical development he explains that he has been shot before, in the head, which means he is losing his memory. That most recent slug has triggered the problem, acting as a catalyst meaning Costello is now unaware of what he is doing in Macau, or even that his daughter and her family were gunned down. So as the hitmen muse, is there any point to continuing the revenge when the man who hired them has no idea what he is doing it for? This could have smuggled in a theme about senility, but true to form To makes it more about loyalty, and though the film does improve the further it goes on it doesn't quite hit the mark. Music by Tayu Lo.

Aka: Fuk sau
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1763 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: