Vengeance is Mine

Reviewed by YTSL

Before anything else, it should be made clear that this is NOT a review of the 1998 Yukari Oshima vehicle (a review  of which also can be found on this site).  Instead, the movie with which I am concerned with here is a 1988 production that stars Rosamund Kwan, Pat(ricia) Ha and Derek Yee.

It is quite amazing how many films share the title of VENGEANCE IS MINE: For the record: The International Movie DataBase lists thirteen.  It hardly is giving anything away to also point out that the theme and storyline of this D&B effort is as unoriginal as its title: Boiled down to an essence, it concerns a badly wronged woman who ultimately pays back those who harmed her.

This is not to say though that we get a straightforward, single-stranded sequence of events unfolding in this movie.  This is because the main heroine (played by Rosamund Kwan) has a good friend (portrayed by Patricia Ha) who, along with a Good Samaritan (played by Derek Yee), gets deeply involved in the picture.  Thus, we do not see just one injustice committed and act of revenge wrought.  Instead, we are "treated" to multiple rape scenes and a "tit for tat" as well as escalating series of violence that is less "fight" and more physical assault of one by others.  As such, at different points in the film, the words "VENGEANCE IS MINE" could validly be uttered by different characters.

I must admit to having cared less for this movie's premise or plot details than for the chance to watch Rosamund Kwan in a lead role (rather than play second fiddle to Jet Li -- however good he is -- or Andy Lau) and a(nother) glimpse of the under-rated Patricia Ha (who I had only previously seen in the highly recommended "On the Run").  Whatever one's feelings about these "revenge" "flicks" (another of which is "Lady in Black" starring Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia; many of which seem to be a contemporary female variant of old kung fu features), there is some evidence for their constituting opportunities for the featured actors to show a range of emotions in one film.  It is to the credit of the actors that they make the events that take place in this film painful watching rather than pleasant viewing...all of which makes it rather puzzling to me that this movie's climactic sequence was so much less cathartic than I had hoped for.

My rating for the film:  6.5.