I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil ★★★★

Who do you think won, you or me?

The difference between justice and vengeance has been gnawing at man's soul since the dawn of civilization. Is a prison sentence or even a death sentence carried out by the authorities enough to silence the demons of rage that build inside us when someone causes the ones we love to suffer? If it were within your power to make the perpetrator suffer in kind, even if it meant becoming a vigilante yourself, what would stop you from doing so?

These hypotheticals become very real for Kim Soo-hyeon, a James-Bond-adjacent secret agent whose fiance becomes the victim of a serial killer. Kim is highly skilled and extremely dangerous, so when he goes on a mission of vengeance, he's really not fooling around. The ensuing violence is cringe-inducing and often quite barbaric. But the real resonance to the film lies not in taking pleasure at the suffering he's able to exact upon the killer. It's in realizing the toll that it takes on Kim's psyche and on the ones he loves to practice eye-for-an-eye vengeance with a truly psychotic individual. Recommended.

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