After his daughter and her family are killed in a vicious attack, French chef Costello (Johnny Hallyday) hires a trio of hitmen to find the men responsible. Vengeance is the third film in a loose trilogy by Johnnie To, the other two films are the Mission (1999) and Exiled (2006). Like the previous two films Vengeance theme is about the loyalty that comes with certain acts such as killing but the overall theme is vengeance.
One of the plot mechanisms that the film incorporates is the fact that Costello was shot in the head and is rapidly losing his memory. Costello takes pictures and writes on them In order to remember why he wants revenge, who are his enemy’s and who his friends are. This adds extra tension to the film as you slowly watch Costello forget everything including what the concept of revenge means.
The film is beautify shot with every action scene having a great feel for space. The action scenes almost all have a wide shot showing were everyone’s at making them look more epic then they are. As in most action movies today, the film also has a lot of slow motion which would normally bother me but not in this instance. Johnnie To uses slow-mo very smartly and inventively for example in one of the first action sequences a gun fight breaks out in a park at night. The men are running around in slow-mo as leaves from the tree are constantly falling, the moonlight is the only thing lighting them so when the moon is covered everything goes black. As the cloud moves away the men begin firing again at each other.
The only bad thing I have to say about the movie is that it’s not very original and is not the best film Johnnie To has made up to date. But by no means is this a bad movie, the acting in the film was great especially by Johnny Hallyday whose presence resembles Clint Eastwood’s. If you’re looking for an action packed movie to spent the time or just want to watch a film with beautify shot action scenes I highly recommend watching Vengeance, 3 ½ out of 5.