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This review is from: Lady Vengeance - Limited Edition Theatrical Image Slipcase (Exclusive to Amazon.co.uk) [DVD] (DVD)
In dissent to other reviews, I propose this as the superior part of the vengence trilogy. It is not a film intending to surprise or confuse, and has a straightforwardness not unlike Tarantino's, equally matched by stylistic flare. The message also is more subtle perhaps than the plot of the other two films, and is a little focussed not just on the protagonists views about vengeance, but also the world's view. In this, and in the theme of the film, and indeed in the denoument, the film owes a lot to Fritz Lang's M, with a modern pace, but not the frantic action required of the demented and inane. Violence and pain are a part of the film, but played in the Alienesque what-you-don't-see manner that conveys much more brutality than the more obvious approach in the other two films. i had anticipated something along the lines of Takashi Miike's Audition (disturbing in itself and decidedly excellent to boot), but this is played on a different level where the agonising build up that sets Miike's climax so jarring is in this made beautiful, whilst the torture is lingering off camera.
The final reflection must be cinematographic. The subtle blend of costume, character, lighting and CG make this an outstandingly beautiful film, and another one that is for owning, not for renting.