Legendary director Johnnie To (The Election Trilogy, Triangle PTU) - the greatest master of Hong Kong action films since John Woo - returns with an instant modern classic compared by Roger Ebert to Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, VENGEANCE is a visually stunning and gripping gangster tale about honor among thieves and a father determined to avenge his daughter. Pop legend Johnny Hallyday (often called the French Elvis) gives the performance of his life as Costello, a world-weary but dapper gourmet chef who clearly has violence in his past (and future) when he enlists the help of hired assassins to enact his bloody revenge on the Chinese gangsters who nearly killed his little girl. Two brilliantly staged shoot outs by To - one in the moonlight, the other at an abandoned dump - are merely the highlights of a movie that crosses Memento with a spaghetti western and comes up with this international smash hit.
Simon Yam,Anthony Wong,Lam Suet,Sylvie Testud,Johnny Hallyday,Lam Ka Tung
In a Hong Kong hospital, a French woman lies in critical condition after a gangland hit that killed her Chinese husband and two small children. Her father Costello (Johnny Hallyday) arrives from France and is immediately warned by police not to get involved, even as his daughter wordlessly pleads for his help. A stranger in a strange land and plagued by a failing memory, Costello sits stunned in his hotel room, scrawling the word vengeance over the bloody crime scene photos of his daughter's family. He soon crosses paths with three professional killers (To regulars Anthony Wong, Lam Suet and Lam Ka Tung) who work for the crass and flamboyant mob boss Fung (Simon Yam), and asks them to help avenge his family. But as the men get to know their new client, they learn that his past may not be as innocent as they had assumed. As Costello's memory problems worsen, the question becomes: what is the meaning of vengeance when you no longer remember either those who have wronged you or those you have lost?
With his debonair yet rugged good looks and piercing, pale eyes, Hallyday, a pop icon who has sold over 100 million records during his decades-long career and is considered by some to be the French Elvis Presley, adds pathos and depth to the enigmatic Costello. The craggy, lived-in face of Hallyday is as riveting as To's mad scenes of mayhem, which include a fierce nighttime shootout as clouds pass over the full moon and, shootouts being To's stock in trade, an epic battle in a junkyard that has to be seen to be believed.