Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

March 29th, 2002


Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

No valid json found

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.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.8/10 (22,827 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Chan-wook Park

Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae

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.

Writers: Mu-yeong Lee, Chan-wook Park

Kang-ho Song - Park Dong-jin
Ha-kyun Shin - Ryu
Doona Bae - Cha Yeong-mi
Ji-Eun Lim - Ryu's Sister
Bo-bae Han - Yu-sun
Se-dong Kim - Chief of Staff
Dae-yeon Lee - Choe
Ju-bong Gi -
Gyu-su Jeong -
Jae-yeong Jeong - Husband of Dong-jin's ex-wife's
Kan-hie Lee - Park Dong-jin's ex-wife
Kwang-rok Oh - Anarchist
Seung-wan Ryoo - Delivery Boy
Seung-beom Ryu - Retarded Boy at River

Taglines: Revenge Was Never This Sweet

Release Date: 29 March 2002

Box Office Details

Budget: $4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $9,827 (USA) (21 August 2005) (3 Screens)

Gross: $1,954,937 (Worldwide) (25 March 2007)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Japan:  | UK:

Did You Know?

All characters that used sign language learned alongside deaf and dumb individuals, having sign-language conversations with them about the movie.

Continuity: 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.

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

User Review

A stunning piece of work. One of the most impressive movies I've seen this decade.


I know absolutely NOTHING about Chan-wook Park, but after watching 'Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance' I would put him straight at the top of my most promising new directors list. This is a stunning piece of work which wipes the floor with contemporary Hollywood's so-called "thrillers". It's a very grim and depressing movie, full of violence, but also includes some great performances, some beautiful sequences, and characters you genuinely empathize with. Sadly very few people are going to see this brilliant movie, and the few who get to hear about it will be told about the more extreme and brutal scenes and will probably think it's just about shock for shocks sake. It's anything but. In many ways it harks back to the days when a dark and serious movie like 'Taxi Driver' could find a mass adult audience, rather than the moronic Bad Boys/Charlie's Angels movie culture we're now faced with. Ha-kyun Shin plays Ryu, an unemployed deaf mute who is desperate to help his sick sister (Ji-Eun Lim) who needs a kidney transplant. When his experiences on the organ black market fail (the movie deals with this and I don't want to spoil it) his politically extreme girlfriend Yu-sun (Bo-bae Han) hatches a kidnap plan. This sets off a tragic chain of events that you just have to see to believe! I was immediately fascinated with the movie and my interest never let up for a minute. The actors are all first rate, and Park's direction is difficult to fault. The movie continually surprises all the way up to its very compelling climax. 'Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance' is one of the most impressive movies I've seen this decade. Make sure you get to see it!


Comments are closed.