I Saw the Devil ★★½

Is there something particularly Korean about protracted revenge for slights? First we had Oldboy, where a man is imprisoned for decades by a former schoolmate over the discovery of a terrible secret. Then there’s I Saw The Devil, where a disturbed cop exacts tortuous retaliation on the misogynist serial killer who murdered his fiancée. Its explosions of violence are the very definition of gratuitous; its jarring tonal shifts between hardcore thriller and comedic Grand Guignol are frustrating for viewers like me who’d rather the good guy just got the job done, rather than stumble through a rogue’s gallery of deviants for over two hours, and to little cathartic end.