For Reel

I Saw the Devil (2010)
June 8, 2011, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Kim Jee-woon

Films that aspire to make the audience cheer for a brutal act of vengeance are quite often dumb at best and morally despicable at worst. I Saw the Devil, then, comes as a bit of a surprise, although unfortunately its intellect only persists so far before it devolves back into the familiar carnal, sadistic desires of the genre. The film often reaffirms that the protagonist has become a monster and, in that sense, is not any more or less evil than the murderer he is after. Though this is a welcome spin on the genre, ultimately Jee-woon seems to be more interested with the most grisly aspects of the film. In criticizing vengeance porn he delivers torture porn. Despite this frustration, however, the film is elevated by the performance of Oldboy‘s Choi Min-sik, whose proximity to danger is in a constant fluctuation, having to become the chasee to the chaser in only a few moments of screen time.


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