â€œI Saw the Devilâ€ delivers shockingly violent action sequences bound together in a Korean Art House film that walks a fine line between pointless torture and gripping revenge thriller.
The movie stars Min-Sik Choi as a ruthless psychopath who commits obscene serial murders on defenseless victims. Unfortunately for him, his latest victim is the fiancÃ© of Soo-Hyun (Byung-Hun Lee), a police agent within the South Korean intelligence agency.
Soo-Hyun vows to take revenge on his fiancÃ©â€™s killer, tracking down all the possible suspects and making the killer pay no matter what the cost.
As a caveat, this movie is not for those with a weak stomach; it reaches depths of violence and torture that are reminiscent of the â€œSawâ€ franchise.
That being said, â€œI Saw the Devilâ€ establishes an intriguing story beyond the violence that is set around an engaging cat-and-mouse thriller. It boasts the uncommon ability of having a dynamic storyline to keep the audience guessing as its tale unravels.
The film is very similar to 2007â€™s best picture winner â€œNo Country for Old Menâ€ in that it portrays a conflict between pure good and unfathomable evil. Â Through this struggle, â€œI Saw the Devilâ€ displays how a man can transform into the very monster he is hunting.
But when comparing these two films, â€œNo Country for Old Menâ€ provides a more fluid script, better-rounded characters and stronger lasting appeal. Â If you havenâ€™t seen it yet, shame on you. Â
Be sure to check out both of them, as it looks like mainstream movies are soon to be in their annual spring slump.
You can see â€œI Saw the Devilâ€ and other great independent and foreign films at the Lyric Cinema CafÃ© located on Mountain Avenue in Old Town.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at email@example.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.