I became a fan of director Chan-wook Park after watching Old Boy, one of the best movies I watched in 2005. It was mostly because of the style he shot the film in and the way he was able to mix humorous, yet gruesome, fight scenes with a nice twist in the end.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, the first of the revenge trilogy, was a different story. It had none of which made Old Boy a classic in Korean cinema. The movie lacked a common theme upon all well-made movies have: good vs. evil. It was clear the Park’s intention was for the audience to be sympathetic to both parties, but by doing so throughout the entire duration of the movie was tiresome. And to be honest it was a bit of a turn off. The cinematograhpy was beautiful and the acting was top notch throughout. The problem was that the movie was scizophrenic, it wanted too many things through too many different means. It couldn’t figure out who you should have sympathized with. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t up to the same quality as Old Boy was.