Synopsis: “Vengeance” is about a French chef and would be assassin who goes to Hong Kong to avenge a murder.
Round-up: The critical consensus coming out of Cannes regarding Johnnie To's hotly anticipated thriller is that it's a slick, well done genre film that doesn't break any boundaries but is a fun ride, nonetheless. "Johnnie To and Johnny Hallyday have a bloody good time in 'Vengeance,' a smoothly executed reven... ge thriller that finds one of Hong Kong's genre masters in assured action-movie form," writes Justin Chang in his review for Variety. He concludes that "Western elements and abundant bloodshed make this To's most marketable item since 2006's 'Exiled,' with appeal for Asian buffs and French hipsters alike." The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt would seem to agree, saying "Renowned Hong Kong action director Johnnie To teams up with iconic French singer-actor Johnny Hallyday for a stylish, whiz-bang revenge melodrama in 'Vengeance.' With atmospheric locations in Hong Kong and Macau and To's signature set pieces of choreographed gunplay all accomplished with a bemused wink to his audience, 'Vengeance' can penetrate just about any market in the world. Popcorn and art certainly can co-exist as this movie amply demonstrates." Though Geoff Andrew writes that "If indeed there is anything surprising about this cliché-packed genre fare, it’s the degree to which To and his screenwriter Wai Ka-Fai are prepared to indulge their flair for the ludicrous... To call the film cartoon-like would be to do a grave disservice to the majority of comic strips," in his review for Time Out, he also notes that "it’s far from unenjoyable (though I’m not sure this kind of fluff really warrants a place in Cannes’ main competition)." The New York Times' Manohla Dargis, however, cites it as a standout of the festival thus far, calling it "a brilliantly directed genre study from the Hong Kong master Johnnie To" and noting that "With his ruined face and pale snake eyes Mr. Hallyday holds the screen while Mr. To shakes it up."