Wednesday, April 20

I Saw The Devil Review

I Saw The Devil
Dir. Kim Jee-Woon

In the brilliant new film from Kim Jee-Woon (The Good, The Bad, and The Weird and A Tale Of Two Sisters) one of the characters in the film says, “Revenge is for the movies”, and this film fully acknowledges it. However, it’s also an interesting line spoken to our main character, who has no greater concern than to search for solace in revenge, but not just simple revenge. With every calculated measure of revenge our tormented detective falls deeper into the realms of becoming a monster in order to fight a monster.

A special agent (Lee Byung-hun) loses his wife to the hands of a serial killer and decides to seek revenge at all costs. The special agent captures, tortures, and releases the serial killer, following his every move with an implanted tracking device. Slowly, the special agent loses himself, becoming influenced by the serial killer. The story is interesting because it’s full of unexpected turns, though not always logical, it shifts tones exceptionally. For instance, after the serial killer is captured, tortured, and released by the special agent, he hails a ride from two men that are vile in their own regard, leaving no other option than the use brutality. The interaction between the special agent and the serial killer, played expertly by Oldboy’s Choi Min-sik, are completely intriguing. The cinematography is gorgeous, luscious blue and red palates mixed with rich levels of contrast and great portraits of scenery. The violence is definitely in-your-face leaving nothing to imagination, though it is masterfully choreographed. Again, I reiterate, the violence is graphic, plain and simple this is a film not for the faint of heart.

I Saw The Devil is an impressive film that examines, in a unique way, the turmoil of loss. Kim Jee-Woon handles the technical aspects of the film with poise, keeping the audience engrossed with every unexpected turn. With every film Jee-Woon has done, he seems to worry less about complexity of the story and more about challenging himself at making a simple film into an exceptional film, and I Saw The Devil only shows his utter prowess.

Monte's Rating... 4.25 out of 5.00

- I Saw The Devil will be playing at Madcap Theaters in Tempe, Arizona on Friday and Saturday night (4/22 and 4/23).
- Showings at 8pm and 10:30pm both nights.
- Presented by Arizona’s own, Midnight Movie Mamacita. 

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