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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4
PHOTOGRAPHY

I SAW THE DEVIL

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  142 minutes, making-of featurette, deleted scenes

VIDEO:  1.85:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:   Korean 5.1, English 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles:  English, Spanish

 

STUDIO:  Magnolia Home Entertainment/ Magnet Releasing/ SoftBank Ventures Korea/ Showbox/ Mediaplex, Inc/ Peppermint & Company/ Siz Entertainment

RELEASE DATE:   5-10-2011

Soo-hyun, a secret agent, vows to get revenge on Kyung-chul (Choi Min-Sik) for killing Juyeon, the fiancÚ of Soo-hyun.   Kyung-chul has killed before and he will kill again as Soo-hyun starts to weed through the list of suspects with high levels of violence until he reachs Kyung-chul.  Instead of killing him or bringing him in, Soo-hyun decides to stretch out his game of torture and plants a tracker inside the killer.   He tracks the killer and stops him at every turn the killer tries to hurt an innocent.   It is a game of cat and mouse as Soo-hyun throws aside morality as he punishes Kyung-chul.

 

I SAW THE DEVIL never pulls back.   It shows the consequences of what a man will do to get ultimate revenge.    The more he decides to drag it out, the more carnage it causes.   I SAW THE DEVIL is shockingly impressive film.   Lee Byung-Hun shows how his character unravels while Choi Min-Sik turns his psychotic killer into a character who relishes the game of revenge.  

 

The movie makes me wonder what people would do to get revenge if a loved one was murdered and how far they would go.   Soo-hyun lost the only decent thing in his life and so you can say he has nothing to lose.  The chains on his morality slowly come off during the course of the film where Kyung-chul has no such chains because he will kill anyone if he feels threatened (like the bad guys who pick him up in a taxi in one scene) or if it thrills him.    The father of Juyeon doesn't want Soo-hyun to stop while the police want him out of the way.  I SAW THE DEVIL is fantastic and at times shocking.   The movie does drag a little bit and yet it stands out as this masterwork.   The deleted scenes could have bloated it and I wonder if I SAW THE DEVIL could have been fine tuned more.   Director Kim Jee-woon has sculpted a masterpiece, a film I would watch again and won't forget.   This film is the second South Korean film to stand out this year (with THE MAN FROM NOWHERE being the other one) for me.   

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Nine deleted scenes that are over a total of 25 minutes which include a sex scene for the psychotic killer, a cut opening scene, a cut alternate ending, and a little more with a minor character trying to escape her fate.

 

RAW AND ROUGH: BEHIND THE SCENES OF I SAW THE DEVIL- a 27 minute making-of featurette with behind the scenes footage and interviews.  It is very engrossing as you see the difficulties they faced in filming the action scenes and how they did those scenes whether it was against blue screen or having a vehicle on rollers.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:   I SAW THE DEVIL pulls no punches and blew my mind.   It is another stunning action thriller that shows the consequences of revenge.

 

this DVD review is (c)5-24-2011 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com