Story: Jun-seok is bullied in school by Chang-sik and his gang. He bears the bullying without fighting back. A girl that is interested in
him doesn't like to see this, though. When Chang-sik finds out that Jun-seok has a girlfriend he kidnaps her and rapes her in front of Jun-seok. The next
day the girl commits suicide...
The suicide of his girlfriend affects Jun-seok (Joo Sang-wook) even 15 years later. He hasn't achieved anything in life and is still looking for a job. He earns money on the side as a parking guard until he one day suddenly finds himself standing before Chang-sik (Yang Dong-geun) again. His former tormentor doesn't recognize him at first, but even when Chang-sik remembers who he is facing, he doesn't seem to remember his actions of the past. Thanks to his rich father he is successful and is also about to marry his rich girlfriend Ji-hee (Lee Tae-im). Jun-seok can't bear this injustice any longer and decides to take revenge...
Review: "Days of Wrath" is a revenge thriller of a different kind. It doesn't revolve around the long plan in the making of killing someone
out of vengeance, but more around paying someone back in kind by gradually destroying his life. That sounds enthralling and it is. For most part
the movie also approaches the subject in a pretty smart way and instantly manages to capture the viewer. However, from the second half onwards the film
loses its orientation and it doesn't really recuperate from that till the end. In this case that's really a shame since the atmosphere and the plot deliver
everything that a successful thriller needs. Sadly, the protagonists also lose some of their color towards the end and thus the viewer interest in them.
Being bullied by your classmates can scar you for life, this Jun-seok certainly makes us realize. The scenes at the school aren't easy to bear and especially
the raping is a bit thick. Jun-seok has never learnt to fight back, but why he does so little, apart from his pleading, to prevent the raping remains very
odd - even for him a little bit more resistance would have been within the bounds of possibility. Yet, when a little bit later on he tries to take revenge
on his tormentors he fails miserably. He seems to be the born loser. And that's what "Days of Wrath" without a doubt wants to make us realize. When we leave
Jun-seok's past this doesn't change a bit either. The man still can't fight back or defend himself. At least he can take a beating better than before.
What's making this thriller so fascinating is the fact that we actually don't have any good individual in the usual sense of the word in the center of the plot.
In a way this turns out to be a problem a little bit later on, though. We can sympathize with Jun-seok and we hope that he finally puts his revenge
plan into action. But when he does we also realize how he gets consumed by his desire for vengeance. That is unpleasant to watch and some of his actions
are so perfidious that we can't really be sure anymore whether he is the good guy or not. For this the movie actually deserves some kudos, but it also leads
to Jun-seok becoming more shallow with time. Actor Joo Sang-wook ("My Wife got Married") at first may convey the
necessary impression of a character who is dead inside since the incident fifteen years ago, but towards the end he isn't defined by anything else but his
desire for revenge.
In this context Chang-sik is quite intriguing. Because when he meets Jun-seok again he seems to be a normal guy. Only in his interaction with his former victim he relapses into his old role. Since Jun-seok wants to destroy his life this doesn't seem that odd. And although you can't forgive Chang-sik for the raping he committed, you still start to wonder if it's not Jun-seok who is turning him into a bad person again. Yang Dong-geun ("Fighter in the Wind", "Address Unknown") manages to make us loathe him even in those scenes in which he apparently seems to be quite normal. Maybe that is because of his past, but Yang succeeds, alongside Joo, to turn the theme of hate into the actual dynamic factor of the story.
The dark tone of the movie continues to be apparent in the story as well, but director Sin Dong-yeop ("100 Days with Mr. Arrogant") makes a big mistake. Either your movie should center completely around Jung-seok's personal vendetta or it shifts in the middle in order to deliver a thrilling psychological battle between the two opponents. Sin chooses latter one, but that's exactly were the thriller slips from his hands. The tension drops considereably and "Days of Wrath" becomes predictable. A girl that has an interest in Jun-seok is introduced and we are instantly aware that this only serves the purpose of her becoming a target for Chang-sik. The brawls are ridiculously choreographed and the ending is simply a disappointing affair as well. Even though "Days of Wrath" is actually an unrelenting thriller that would have deserved a recommendation it can't be given because of the second half which relativizes this impression.