Kim Jee-woon, whose previous film was the Sergio Leone spoof The Good, the Bad, the Weird, doesn't so much parody genres as he beats them senseless with a stick - much the way his hero, special agent Kim Soo-hyeon (Lee Byung-hun), does to those who piss him off. Soo-hyeon is especially mad at Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik, looking like a demented, Korean Johnny Cash), the psycho who murdered his fiancée. So he takes time off from the force to indulge his own private vendetta, a pursuit that starts out predictably, undergoes a dazzling curve midway through, and then gets yet more predictable. Let's just say (spoiler?) that not only can Kyung-chul dish it out, he can take it, with Choi putting in a performance rivaling that of James Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ. Although he gives lip service to the futility of revenge, Kim recognizes that the appeal of genre movies, and serial killing, is gruesome repetition.