After a long, sad year for U.S. Asian film fans, Vengeance is almost upon us. IFC is bringing Johnnie To’s latest bullet-driven extravaganza to VOD.
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?
Vengeance will hit Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Cablevision on August 4th, so keep an eye out!
If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with Johnnie To, time to do some work, as the man is simply one of the greatest living action directors. Start with The Mission and witness near-cinematic perfection. After move on to Election and its sequel Triad Election, both of which can be ranked among the best gangster movies of the last decade. Then check out Exiled if you want to see what To can do with a spaghetti western mashup or The Heroic Trio if you want to see some silly and fun wuxia (not to mention a young Michelle Yeoh beating the hell out of people and flying through the skies), then move on to Fulltime Killer or Mad Detective or pretty much anything else he’s done. (A good chunk of those are available on Netflix Instant, too.) Thank me later!