The Vengeance Trilogy

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The Vengeance Trilogy
The Vengeance Trilogy.png
The Vengeance Trilogy Blu-ray
Directed by Park Chan-wook
Produced by
  • Lee Jae-sun (1)
  • Lim Jin-gyu (1)
  • Kim Dong-joo (2)
  • Lim Seung-yong (2)
  • Cho Young-wuk (3)
  • J. J. Harris (3)
  • Beth Kono (3)
  • Lee Chun-yeong (3)
  • Lee Tae-hun (3)
Screenplay by
  • Park Chan-wook (13)
  • Lee Jae-sun (1)
  • Lee Jong-yong (1)
  • Lee Mu-yeong (1)
  • Hwang Jo-yun (2)
  • Lim Chun-hyeong (2)
  • Jeong Seo-Gyeong (3)
Music by
  • Chung Chung-hoon (23)
  • Kim Byeong-il (1)
Edited by
  • CJ Entertainment (1)
  • Studio Box (1)
  • Egg Films (2)
  • Show East (2)
  • CJ Capital Investment (3)
  • Centurion Investment (3)
  • Ilshin Capital Investments (3)
  • Korea Capital Investment (3)
  • Moho Films (3)
  • Samsung Venture Capital (3)
  • TSJ Entertainment (3)
Distributed by
Release date
Country South Korea
  • Korean (13)
  • English (3)
  • Japanese (3)
Budget Total (3 films):
$11.5 million[1][2][3]
Box office Total (3 films):

The Vengeance Trilogy (Korean: 복수 삼부작) is a series of three films, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), and Lady Vengeance (2005), directed by South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook. Each deals with the themes of revenge, violence, and salvation. The films are not narratively connected and were dubbed a trilogy by international critics because of their thematic links.[7][8]

In the United Kingdom, Tartan Films released the box set of the three films on DVD. In the United States, Vivendi Entertainment released the same set.[9][10][11][12][13]


Park Chan-wook (above) directed and co-wrote all three films, while Choi Min-sik (below) stars in both Oldboy and Lady Vengeance.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)[edit]

The first installment in Park's trilogy was the 2002 film, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a bleak and violent tale of revenge gone wrong. It tells the story of a deaf-mute man who kidnaps a young girl to pay for his sister's much-needed kidney transplant. When the young girl accidentally dies, her bereaved father goes on a search for answers and vengeance. The film did relatively poorly at the box office in South Korea finishing 30th in ticket rank. It covered less than half its production costs in both domestic and foreign box office gates, where in the U.S. it garnered gross revenues of $45,243.[14] However, it was named the best film of 2002 by internet blogger Harry Knowles.[15]

Oldboy (2003)[edit]

Park's next film in the trilogy was the hugely successful 2003 film, Oldboy. It told the story of a man who is imprisoned for fifteen years and then released with no explanation as to why he was confined and released. Now, he has been given five days to learn his captor's true identity and find out why he was imprisoned, or his new love interest will be killed. The film was very well received at film festivals and at the box office in South Korea. It won the Grand Prix award at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and received great reviews from critics. The film has gained a cult following in the years following its release and is considered a modern classic.

The film was remade for American audiences by Spike Lee in 2013.[16]

Lady Vengeance (2005)[edit]

The third and final installment in the trilogy was the 2005 film, Lady Vengeance. The film tells the tale of an innocent young woman released from prison after doing time for a child-killer still at large. Once freed, she seeks out her long-lost daughter and unveils her plan for revenge against the ghastly man for whom she served time. This film was also well received by critics and South Korean audiences alike. It grossed $7,382,034 in its opening week and competed for the Golden Lion at the 62nd Venice International Film Festival in September 2005.[17]

Recurring cast members[edit]

Numerous actors and actresses feature throughout the trilogy, sometimes only as cameos.

  • Oh Kwang-rok is the only actor to make an appearance in all three films.
  • Song Kang-ho as Park Dong-jin in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Hired assassin 1 in Lady Vengeance.
  • Shin Ha-kyun as Ryu in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Hired assassin 2 in Lady Vengeance.
  • Choi Min-sik as Oh Dae-su in Oldboy, Mr. Baek in Lady Vengeance.
  • Yoo Ji-tae as Lee Woo-jin in Oldboy, older Won-mo in Lady Vengeance.
  • Kang Hye-jung as Mi-do in Oldboy, TV announcer in Lady Vengeance.
  • Oh Dal-su as Park Cheol-woong in Oldboy, Mr. Chang in Lady Vengeance.
  • Kim Byeong-ok as Mr. Han in Oldboy, the preacher in Lady Vengeance.


  1. ^ Boksuneun naui geot (2002) - Box office / business
  2. ^ Oldeuboi (2003) - Box office / business
  3. ^ Associated, The (13 March 2014). "Movies | Movie Times | Tickets Online | MoviesTrailers -". Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  4. ^ "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2005)". Box Office Mojo. 2006-02-16. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  5. ^ "Oldboy (2005)". Box Office Mojo. 2005-12-08. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  6. ^ "Lady Vengeance (2006)". Box Office Mojo. 2006-10-01. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  7. ^ Park Chan-Wook’s “Vengeance Trilogy Archived 14 July 2012 at at the Dryden Theatre.
  8. ^ Film Review: The Vengeance Trilogy by film critic Richard Peña at Cine21 (in Korean)
  9. ^ Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "Palisades Tartan Releasing Vengeance Trilogy DVD Box Set". 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  11. ^ 3 Like0 Dislike0 Sep 30, 2009 by Brian Gallagher (2009-09-30). "Chan-Wook Park's 'Vengeance Trilogy' Comes to DVD on November 24th". Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  12. ^ "Vengeance Trilogy Blu-ray: Tin | Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Lady Vengeance". Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  13. ^ "Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/Oldboy/Lady Vengeance): Movies & TV". Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  14. ^ Box Office Mojo
  15. ^ Harry's Top Ten Films Of 2002 - Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news[dead link]
  16. ^ allmovie ( Oldboy - Overview )
  17. ^ ":: Palisades | Tartan ::". 1944-09-29. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 

External links[edit]