Bullet Points: Vengeance
From time to time I will watch a random movie on Netflix and rarely am I rewarded with a movie that is worth my time but I have to say that I generally liked Vengeance. I have seen a movie or two from Johnny To in the past so I had somewhat of an expectation that the movie wouldn’t be shitty but I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed this one. It is currently still streaming on Netflix so I invite you to check it out. On to the Bullet Points….
The Gist: A French chef (Johnny Hallyday) and ex-hit man travels to Macau, China to hunt down those responsible for the murder of his daughter and her two sons. Along the way he makes an arrangement with three contract killers and together they try to unravel the mystery of who killed his family. Costello must also deal with the fact that a bullet that has been lodged in his brain for over twenty years is causing memory loss and he may soon forget about his promise of vengeance if he doesn’t act quickly.
The Cast: Johnny Hallyday is super old. I had never heard of his before this movie but you can tell that he was someone rich by how much plastic surgery he has had done to his face. The guy’s face was pretty distracting to me cause it was so weird looking. Besides that, I thought he did a rather good job with the role. He pretty much stays in “vengeance mode” the entire movie as the opening scene is the one depicting the murder of his family. It helps when you go into a movie knowing that this dude is gonna go through whatever it takes to kill someone. I like that they just come right out and make it a revenge flick. Johnny’s buddies are played by Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Ka Tung Lam, and Suet Lam. Anthony Wong has done a lot of sweet movies like The Mission, Internal Affairs, and the third Mummy movie which suffered from not having Rachel Weisz. They all did a good job of portraying just the right about of loyalty, bravery, and stupidity that comes with hired killers who take on the Triads.
Johnny Hallyday is old so he has trouble remembering stuff. Also, he still uses a Polaroid camera which hasn’t been done since 1992.
The Villain: The always great Simon Yam played George Fung, our Triad boss. He’s played a similar character in about 300 movies so he should be pretty good at it by now. I like that he was kind of a coward the whole flick. It made it different from all of the gang-leaders who are total badasses movies. The three guys who killed Costello’s daughter were merely a tool of Fung’s and they played a valuable part in the movie.
There’s a pretty cool gunfight where everybody is rolling these blocks around as mobile cover.
The Action: The vengeance angle starts pretty much right away and I loved that about this movie. The title is Vengeance…there’s no need to waste time with all kinds of character studies. Just give us someone dying, and someone else avenging them. Boom! That is exactly what we got here. I gun battles were pretty good. It’s nice to see people actually miss for a change. The finale two gun battles were different; the rolling the trash blocks around as cover was interesting and it looked cool but it was really dumb for the heroic trio to get surrounded like that. Also…c’mon, Costello killing all of the Triads was a bit of a stretch. Overall, I really enjoyed the action and the fact that they didn’t try and weigh the film down with back stories for every single character.
If you like stylized gun battles then get in here. These guys also heavily endorse smoking so you know how crazy/tough they are.
Take it Home:
- French King: Johnny Hallyday is pretty much the French equivalent of Elvis Presley. He has sold over 100 million records in France and has 33 number 1 hits.
- Geezer: Johnny Hallyday was 66 years old when he made this movie. That explains why he walks so damn slow all the time.
- Third times a charm: The third film in an unofficial trilogy for Johnnie To following The Mission and Exiled.
- Hey, that’s the name of the movie: I loved when Costello stole the crime scene photos and wrote “vengeance” on all of them.
- 7 minutes in Hell: Fung was a terrible kisser.