Costello’s daughter’s family were viciously murdered, gangland style, by the mob. The hit included the two children. The hit however didn’t go totally to plan, as the daughter survived, and has asked Costello to seek revenge, giving him a couple of bits of information that will help him find her killers.
Costello himself used to be a killer, 20 years ago. He since gave that up and became a chief. Now he’s on a mission to travel from France to Hong Kong and rain the fury of vengeance down on the mob’s hit-men.
There is a slight problem. Well a few actually. Costello knows nothing about Hong Kong, can’t bring a gun into the country with him either. So he enlists the help of a group of assassins for hire to help him track down the killers before he remembers what he’s doing in Hong Kong.
Yep, that’s the twist that makes this tale some what original, Costello’s failing memory means he takes photos and makes notes all the time so hi will remember what he’s doing.
To be honest, there’s a couple more twists and turns that take this from your average revenge story to an original, well crafted story.
The biggest hurdle that you have to get over when watching Vengeance is that it’s not an all out action spectacular. It’s a drama that in places seems drawn out. But when the action does kick in, it does so in style that will put a smile on the face of any die hard action fan. This is what Hong Kong action is supposed to be like.
The other hurdle is the fact that it is such a good revenge film. I know this shouldn’t be a hurdle, but Vengeance tells it’s story so well that it can’t hide the truth: vengeance is a vicious circle. There is no redemption at the end of your mission. Vengeance achieves nothing. It’s in this paradox that the film not only stumbles slightly, but also achieves greatness.
Not quite the perfect Hong Kong film, but non-the-less, Vengeance is a good solid film.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: April 15th, 2010
Stars: Johnny Hallyday, Sylvie Testud, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang
Length (Minutes): 108
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Languages: English, Cantonese, French
Supported Audio: Dolby Digital Surround 5.1
Director: To, Johnnie