[critical] Revenge

A father comes to Hong Kong to avenge his daughter, a victim of hired killers. On his passport is marked “cook”. 20 years earlier, he was a professional killer.

Author’s Note


Release Date : may 20, 2009

Directed by Johnnie To

Film in hong Kong

With Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Testud, Simon Yam…

Duration : 1h 48 min

Trailer :

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Meet Johnnie To, a famous film director in hong kong, and Johnny Hallyday, our ‘ belgian national, was a gamble as risky as honorable. However, hard is to see that our fears are far from superfluous.

The story, altogether banal and stereotypical (a family decimated by mysterious killers, a grandfather, a former professional killer, recycled as a cook determined to find those naughty rogue and who will have the unique chance to be helped by other killers, that of adventures !), hardly terribly to arouse the interest of the viewer, who quickly begins to find the long time.

The story is all the more disappointing that all of the plot twists are phoned-in, as the humour second-degree, overwhelming initially in particular with a scene of kiss totally shifted, turns out to be boring in the long run : it is unfortunately very far from the other films of Johnnie To at the image ofElection and Breaking News, both presented at the Cannes film Festival.

And what about those gunfights endless where the clashes are becoming real jokes, where the killers in the series seem to be suffering from myopia incurable (to miss a target at less than two meters, it was necessary to dare !), where every man in the film is relegated to the rank of super heroes that are able to withstand 6 bullets in the body, including three in the legs and keep running while having a smile (the class?), and finally where the budgetary limitations are cruelly to feel, the image of the rendering of the blood on the screen : Mr. To has confused its single-serving packets of ketchup, the bottom of the range with its pockets of blood.

The only positive points of the realization of Johnnie To are the BO, which is particularly effective and appealing, the few allusions made to the movie (in a plan at the beginning of the film, an asian wearing a t-shirt with De Niro in Taxi Driver printed on it) and the work of light performed. This work, however, is too uneven to be greeted : one plan, one attends a true masterpiece of brightness, but the following plan is poor, see missed.

One has the impression that the director hong kong never really know how to play, he looks indecisive, lost, in the blur the more total.

On our singer, it’s like income at the time of the series David Lansky, vulgar and pathetic copied-pasted the’inspector Harry which is indicative of the level of actor Johnny Hallyday is close to zero.

Here, it oscillates between mediocrity and lack. His character is not quite worked out, and its interpretation, which is summarized in a facies seen and reviewed and in dialogues kitsch unthinkable, prevents the viewer from attaching to his character suffering from Alzheimer’s who struggles to remember his mission almost divine : Vengeance !

Some of the scenes are pathetic (when he plays football in particular, or that it is preparing to bolognaises in the house where his family was killed) or simply impossible : I think of a hilarious scene where Costello (the name of his character) cry a full-throated the name of the bad guy : one has the impression of being in the advertising Opticccccccccc 2000.

Obviously, Revenge, without, however, being the turnip of the month, disappoints terribly, and it is clear from the projection stunned that a movie of this template is to be presented, which is in competition at the Cannes film Festival.

The moral of Johnnie To is that it is better to forget, to overcome the pain ? But let’s forget ! And fast!!!

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