Someone is killing off cops and slicing out the babies of their pregnant wives. When the cops arrest a suspect, they know it's not the first time they've been having problems with him. But the question is if Kit can be blamed for these murders...
With a title like "Revenge: A Love Story", there's not much more to suspect than a revenge story. It's a bland title and it's not a surprise that I expected a very typical revenge film. Nothing wrong with that either, 'cause there are plenty of fun ones. Even among the poorest, they'll have that special feeling where you get as involved in getting the revenge as the main character. After having seen the movie, my mind is changed regarding the title. A more appropriate title couldn't possibly exist. This is in every way a revenge and a love story, and melts the two together perfectly.
In the first 20 minutes we see a young man, Kit, kill cops and cut out babies from their pregnant wives. We don't want anything else than see this fucker die. I instantly expected a cat and mouse chase with this guy and the cops. I could see an entire movie of us following him while he was chased. Since we see his face from the get-go, there would be no need to hide who the killer is and that's why I imagined a story from his point of view. Once he is caught and he is being interrogated by the cops we notice that something is a bit off. The cops don't seem to be 100% sure if he is the killer, but yet they're on the borderline of torturing him. This is where things turn around and you start to really see the film from his eyes, as it goes back in time to show what happened prior to the kills.
I must say I was extremely fascinated by this movie, and I think it might be the most interesting rape-revenge film that I have seen. No surprise when you put it up against films like "I Spit On Your Grave" and such, but it's still something. It's amazing how much the movie does in just 90 minutes. And yes, that's a short time for a film like this. Think of a film like "Cold Fish", which is well over 2 hours long. "Revenge: A Love Story" probably gets more said and done in 90 minutes than that movie did. And I'm not saying that as something negative to either film, they are both good and shouldn't be compared. I just thought of it as a fellow new Asian thriller. It's also not told in chronological order, instead it starts somewhere in the middle, jumps back to the beginning, and eventually goes back to the middle to complete the story, which includes jumping a few years into the future. It could easily have been a much more confusing film than it ended up being, but we're so hooked from the beginning that it never loses us.
What I responded to early on in the movie was the violence. Not how graphic it was (it has some graphic stuff here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary), but how when someone gets hurt you really feel it. A good example of this is when Kit gets his head smashed against a table that is covered with drawing pins. Or a simple scene where someone gets a table over him while laying down - you feel the weight of that table when you watch it fall on him. I'm easily intrigued with movies that manage to do that, much more than I would be by a film that goes over the top with gore. There's a certain numbness to too much gore, but a well-shot attack/fight/whatever will always work.
There are few things I can complain about, but one thing that I didn't like was how the female character, Wing, was so thin-layered. She was well-acted and you cared for her, but mostly because we cared about Kit and he loved her. You never really get to know her and she's not talking a whole lot, making it hard to get close. It's something that could make the movie a bit better. But the most important character is Kit and Juno Mak's performance is perfect. We go from hating him to loving him without a doubt it our minds. The tagline comes to mind: "Sympathy for the Devil". Couldn't have said it better myself. He starts off as the Devil. He literally starts out being an extremely creepy and weird psycho, only to later be a young, innocent boy in love and we're there supporting him.
The second thing I had an issue with was that it felt like an action movie in some places. And one scene had a pointless use of CGI. Just a car was crashing - didn't feel we needed that as it looked like something straight out of Hollywood. And the last bit of negativity goes to the ending. It's not a bad ending and considering how much has happened in the movie before, I wasn't surprised that it would continue until the last few seconds, but it could just as well have ended earlier. Either that or if the entire last part of the film was longer so we could adjust ourself a bit before it went all out on us.
A lot of praise in this review and that should tell you that you need to check this movie out. I know that when I assemble my list of best movies of this year, this is a movie I will consider. Maybe not for the top, but it will be fighting to be on there. "Revenge: A Love Story" is so much more than simple exploitation. It's rare for me to root for a character as much as I did for Kit in this movie, and I can't stress enough how well-written this movie is since it manages to get so much said, without going too far, in just 90 minutes. I really got worked up during this movie, and that's a good sign!