This isn't really a review. It's more like a walk-through. SPOILERS! This movie's like a fucking game you have to figure out. It's confusing. Not David Lynch-batshit-insane confusing, but still, pretty far. Park Chan-wook goes right up to the very edge but not too far to keep everything together.
I highly enjoyed watching this & even more enjoyed the shit subtitles it came with. At one point, Rich got up to research because there were never subtitles for any Hangul written on screen, lol. But hey, I plan on paying good money to have this movie; the entire trilogy actually.
Want a real review? Here. (they also spoil it.)
Ryu is a deaf guy who also happens to be a mute - making it incredibly hard to communicate with people who don't know of his condition... which happens a lot in this film. He also has some amazingly faded green hair. & Behind him is his sister who needs a kidney transplant. But they're some what poor and they can't find a good doner in time.
He has a girlfriend that knows how to speak sign language. She reminds me so much of the Hipster Grifter. lol. They have such a cute punkish relationship together because Park Chan-Wook is amazing at portraying relationships accurately. At least, to me they are..
Ryu gets fired from his job - this threw Rich and I off so much.. because the guy letting him go tries to shake his hand but he doesn't accept. I assumed he wouldn't accept because he can't hear and is mute..
So, Ryu decides he'll give his kidney up on the black market to get a kidney in return for his dying sister.
DOES NOT GO WELL. (needless to say, he doesn't get a kidney & he's out 10 million as well.) Bummer, they took his clothes too.... to be extra assholes?
His hipster girlfriend finds out about him selling his kidney like dope head would. She doesn't approve and instead begins to suggest they KIDNAP some rich guy's daughter. Because you see, there are GOOD kidnappings and BAD kidnappings. lolwut. They're going to be good kidnappers, not hurt the kid and just blackmail some rich asshole (he's an asshole because he's rich, fight the power, you know) for money.
There weren't subtitles for some of his sign language; but I swear in that last frame he's telling her to shut up.
Dong-jin (inb4 DONG WHERE IS MY AUTOMOBILE) is the fancy rich guy who's life they plan to ruin. His life is already pretty shit, though. He owns some electronics company that's going to shit because the economy sucks (it sucks world wide, all the time). He's constantly letting employee's go, one of whom jumps in front of his car. Don't worry, he's okay.
His former employee is PISSED. And now, suicidal.
please check out those awesome TGI Friday's balloons he has in that last frame. If that place is expensive in America, I can't imagine how much it costs in other countries.
Ryu watches this ordeal and tells his hipster girlfriend they shouldn't go through with this kidnapping thing - They were going to kidnap Ryu's former boss's daughter, but decided to go with his friend instead, to not attract the suspicion of the cops.
They do end up kidnapping the girl, but YOU NEVER GET TO SEE IT. (Wikipedia doesn't even mention it. wtf?) I suppose it wasn't important. What you do get to see is hipster grifter singing a lovely song about getting rid of communism and playing with their newly found child friend.
Ryu fucks with the kids head to get her to cry so he can take a picture of it; then he takes her doll, fucks that up too and sends a care package to her father that includes a nice ransom note. (cut out letters and everything.)
Dong-jin is distraught over losing his daughter, so he agrees to hand over money while grifter follows him with out his knowledge.
Meanwhile, Ryu's dying sister isn't aware they kidnapped the little girl, but she soon finds out he's gotten laid off from work. Then she puts two and two together...
And this is the part in the movie where EVERYTHING just fucking unravels. Seriously, someone took a ball of yarn and kicked it down a steep hill. Everything after this point in the movie that happens is BAD. SO BAD. and rather depressing.
I hope it's obvious what's going on there...
Ryu gets the money and goes home to grin at the gold mine of a child he has. The precocious kid gives him a note while they're watching TV.
Like I said, nothing but BAD things. His sister offs herself because she didn't like the idea of kidnapping the innocent little kid for money. She got along with the little girl, making it worse.
In case you were wondering, lol.
Ryu goes to burry his sister at the lake like she wanted. Unfortunately, a mental case shows up to throw rocks around and pretty much RUIN the day.
Cute kid is in the car while Ryu is out grieving... Mentally disabled guy comes up to take the girls necklace. (I couldn't stop wtfing over this.)
She gets out of the car, tired of being harassed and can't get to Ryu, so she jumps in the lake. Now, the wiki entry says she drowns but, you can clearly see her swimming in the water at one point leading me to believe that the goofy lake bum threw a rock at her...
Proving me right: the lake bum retrieves the necklace off her dead body. WHAT. THE. FUCK. Yes, he's mentally disabled but HOLY SHIT MAN.
Superior editing. They weren't both there, really, but they were looking at her at different times.
After viewing his dead daughter, Dong-jin decides to watch her autopsy?
WTF. No really, WTF.
WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT TO THEMSELVES?! WHY?!?!
Oh, and he sobs the entire time. Makes sense.
Asian movie cliche's time: He goes home, all whacked out from watching his dead daughter get cut open and has some guilt induced hallucinations. Yikes.
Dong-jin decides that maybe the employee he let go might be behind the kidnapping & killing of his little girl. He goes to his home with a cop to discover that the employee gave himself and his family food poisoning. The boy in the family almost made it. Almost.
These two are constantly following Dong-jin and apparently getting the bad news as well. Ryu looks shocked as fuck.
Ryu's shocked because now they've narrowed down the suspects; Dong-jin goes to visit Ryu's old place. All the evidence matches up.
Then through the wall, Dong-jin hears a radio announcer talking about Ryu, and his sister who's passed away. So he writes down the address upon hearing about the array kidney transplant.
Turns out, Ryu is a bit psychic. He painted pictures of him burying his sister at the lake and the girl dying as well. His hipster girl even alludes to this earlier but to Dong-jin, it looks more like it was a planned ordeal. You know, enraging him a bit more.
Dong-jin visits the lake to find... Ryu's dead sister.
And while he's checking out the dead body, he gets to have a lovely encounter with the handicap too. Though, I don't think it completely clicks in his head that the lake bum had a part in the killing. (more wtfry for you.)
lol, even the cops know about the "stupid" lake bum.
More super intense editing - Ryu plans to kill his kidney thieves; Dong-jin wants to kill Ryu. Circle of vengeance time. & yeah, it gets even more complicated after this.
This is the part of the movie where you find out that Hipster Grifter is a fucking radical lefty terrorist. One of the cops even tells a story about how she once tried to get to North Korea on a boat, but was caught in a net by a fisherman.
It's her job to hand out flyers to, you know, fight communism. Even when she visits the kidney thieves, she's working.
I love how they're a team couple. She goes in, sets them up, and then he comes in to kill everyone with a fucking baseball bat. He uses a screwdriver too, but that's because he lost his bat for a moment.
Grifter's gone back home to order some take out. I laughed so much during the last part there because I knew who she was looking up at.
Sure enough, Dong-jin's shown up to have a fucking electrocution. I didn't know you could do these at home?
side note: wtf, does Song Kang-ho like licking people or something?! he does it a lot.
That is always the wrong answer to give when you're hooked up to a car battery.
Just when you think it's not going to get worse - he eats her food while she's all twitching from the frying.
Dong-jin finds these; and almost garners some sympathy for the couple.
Before she's completely dead, she apologizes for his daughters death and then explains her connection to a terrorist group. But, he ignores her threats and continues the at home execution.
Ryu gets to see his dead girl one last time in an elevator - he can actually contain himself but he does grab her hand in grief. Which is rather sad. Not to mention he's bleeding from that fight he got in. He kicked everyone's ass, but didn't manage to escape without a scratch. Okay, it was actually this GIANT cut on his stomach that was dribbling blood everywhere.
Now that grifter's dead, Dong-jin wants to kill Ryu and vice versa... so they wait at each other's places.
Good job noobs.
But eventually, Ryu goes home to also be electrocuted from a trap door. He's knocked out and taken away.
They go out to the lake to have some sort of mutual apology. Dong-jin explains he HAS to kill him, and then goes underwater to cut his heels open. Thus, lake of blood.
As he goes to bury Ryu, the Grifter's terrorist friends show up. They proceed to knife Dong-jin to death..
the end? THEY STAB A NOTE IN HIS CHEST WITH A FUCKING KNIFE. The note is from the grifter of course, pretty much saying "told you so."
So after all that... to me, this has very little in common with the other two in the series. Really, just the revenge thing. Oldboy and Lady Vengeance had similar filming techniques & dark humor where as this... this is straight up WTF. But I still love it. I'd say the entire trilogy is like an ensemble of puzzles that you have to put together and by the ending, everything adds up.
But the turning point on this movie is so quick compared to the others. You don't get the slap in the face until the end of Oldboy and the last half of Lady Vengeance is when your jaw drops. Not this - right out of the gate. This movie's set up like a horror film, that way and even has a high body count. All the main characters die. Minor characters die!
I haven't seen a movie like this in a long long time.
I now have a plan to re-watch this, with hopefully better subtitles, Oldboy with out shitty fucking dubs, and the fade to black and white version of Lady Vengeance. WHY DO I KEEP GETTING FUCKED WITH THESE MOVIES?