3/3/3: Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, and The Man From Nowhere
3/3/3 is a new series that I'm starting! Each 3/3/3 post will focus on three films, with three-sentence reviews for each. This time, two of my friends (Hank412 and Noah) and I will be reviewing Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, and The Man From Nowhere. Mild spoilers ahead!
Oldboy (2003), dir. Park Chan-wook
Oh Dae-su, played by Choi Min-sik, is locked in a room alone for fifteen years without knowing his captor or the reason for his imprisonment. When he gets released, he searches for the kidnapper, intent on bloody revenge.
Noah: "A dark near-perfect revenge film that will leave you with plenty to talk about. The creative direction and editing rivals Hollywood and it never lets the style go overboard. Oldboy is a violent but intriguing story that doesn't hold back. 9/10. Bonus: Don't watch this with your dad."
Hank412: "Forgettable despite how shocking it was. Visceral, disorientating, and efficient at visual storytelling. Amaris likes this so I don't. 6.7/10. Bonus: Snowpiercer was better."
Amaris: "One of my favorite movies of all time, Oldboy keeps you invested during its entire duration. It has brilliant acting, beautiful cinematography, a phenomenal soundtrack, and a compelling plot. It's super memorable and the ending is haunting. 10/10. Bonus: Octopus."
I Saw the Devil (2010) dir. Kim Jee-woon
I Saw the Devil stars Lee Byung-hun as Kim Soo-hyun, a secret agent, and Choi Min-sik as Jang Kyung-chul, a psychopath who brutally killed Soo-hyun's fiance. When Soo-hyun discovers that Kyung-chul committed the murder, Soo-hyun tortures him and lets him go repeatedly to make him suffer as much as possible.
Noah: "This gore fest has nothing more to offer, only things that can offend. The film tries to be edgy but ends up feeling insensitive as it has several sexual assaults with little regard to consequence or remorse. This film literally had me yelling at the screen, frustrated with the choices being made by characters and the creative decisions that ultimately offended me. 4/10."
Hank412: "I saw literal shit. Noah screamed, and it was hilarious. What Noah said. 5/10."
Amaris: "I liked some of the action scenes and the plot seemed promising at first, but I'm surprised that this movie is considered one of the top Korean revenge films. The main character didn't change much during the film while the antagonist didn't have very convincing reasons for why he commits the crimes. A lot seemed thrown in for shock value and the plot itself wasn't full of substance. 5.5/10. (Full review here!)"
The Man From Nowhere (2010) dir. Lee Jeong-beom
Played by Won Bin, the main character Cha Tae-sik used to be in South Korea’s army’s special forces, but after his pregnant wife was assassinated and he was almost killed, he went into hiding. His only friend is his young neighbor Jung So-mi, who takes refuge in his apartment to escape her abusive family. When So-mi is kidnapped by a group of dangerous organ harvesters, Tae-sik must save her, the only person he has left to care about.
Noah: "Even with all the high octane action, The Man from Nowhere manages not to lose sight of its emotional core. Besides its cheesy final moments, the film is a fun ride. Think Taken but better. 7.8/10."
Hank412: "The little girl is fucking adorable. The freeze frame is atrocious. The action and pacing were pretty good. 7.5/10."
Amaris: "Another one of my favorite Korean revenge films, The Man From Nowhere is a perfect combination of action, emotion, and humor. The only problems I noticed were some unfavorable editing choices, such as the overuse of cuts in a few scenes. I really enjoyed the plot and music overall! 9/10."
Hope you enjoyed this fun 3/3/3 on Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, and The Man From Nowhere! Let us know if you have any suggestions for future reviews. :)