Never did get around to talking about Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, did I? Well, I didn’t really like it that much.
I didn’t mind the violence. I didn’t even find it very distressing. Yeah, there’s a lengthy scene during which a young woman gets electrocuted. I’ve seen True Lies; you can’t faze me. I also didn’t have any objection to the theme of the movie — “the desire for vengeance reduces everyone to the same primitive level.”
What bugged me was the farce and the coincidence. I don’t think you can get any serious discussion about the human condition out of a movie that sticks a retarded guy into the middle of the plot for no reason; sure, you needed a character there, but he didn’t actually need to be handicapped. It’s just a chance to chuckle. The kids masturbating to the sound of someone writhing in pain, since they assume it’s passion? That doesn’t have any weight behind it, it’s just something for us to laugh at. And there’s a lot of that sort of thing in the movie.
This is vengeance porn made by a pretty talented director who invites us to snicker at the stupid people. Cause really, that’s the not so subtle message. “These people are dumber than you.” The movie is populated by caricatures and thus forfeits any ability to pretend to be about the general human condition… and once it loses that pretense, it’s just a flick about dumb people hurting each other.