If Kill Bill had more sophistication and class, if The Professional had a tear jerker ending... it would be The Man From Nowhere. The story is simple, a man left with nothing enduring his solitude has no interest in caring for anyone but himself. He just so happens to be ex-special forces. Billed as Korea's top billing film of 2010 and rated R for intense violence and implied gruesome acts, it's considered a Action-Thriller. The Man From Nowhere strangely enough doesn't launch into action until the second half of the film as the tension builds. Until then the pacing is that of a suspense thriller as we learn to identify with the characters densely packed into the story. For those that can't tolerate sub-titles the film does have an optional English dubbed track. It's worth viewing a second time to compare the sub-titles to the English spoken interpretation of it's original Korean language. While the film is shot in dark stylization the cinematography is ultra modern fitting in with any top studio film in the U.S.
CHA Tae-Shik played by Bin Won portrays a mercilessly solitary man reminiscent of the MAN WITH NO NAME classic spaghetti westerns of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Tae-Shik grudgingly befriends a neighbors daughter as he tries to mind his own small pawnshop business but when the little girl's mother has her daughter pawn a camera with drugs she stole from a drug ring, he ends up in the middle of everyone else's fight.
Tae-Shik soon becomes motivated to rescue or have revenge for the little girl when she is kidnapped by the drug ring which then forces him to make a delivery on the promise to return the little girl. Eventually we learn why Tae-Shik became the man he is. With police watching everything they soon decide they need to capture Tae-Shik. He has a lot going against him but his mystereous background proves more than enough for everyone to handle.
The underbelly of Korea's modern world becomes the backdrop for close combat fights, chases and graphic deaths. The martial arts element is de-emphasized giving everything a more serious and real tone.
The close of the story is quite touching as we come down off the action andback into the melodrama of why our hero began his quest in the first place. Where Leon the Professional had no intentions of making you cry at the end, you'll have a hard time avoiding it with this one.
Director: Jeong-beom Lee Starring: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim and Hyo-seo Kim
Would you like to know what was the highest-grossing film in South Korea in 2010? Made such a huge impact that it even shattered the records set by Hollywood blockbusters during that year? It was director Lee Jeong-Beom’s “The Man From Nowhere” that stars Won Bin (Mother) and was received with high critical acclaim all over Asia and Europe. This film reminded me of the many reasons why I got into Korean Cinema a few years ago and it is a wonderfully awesome action film that remembers … more
South Korea’s mega-popular THE MAN FROM NOWHERE was successful for very good reasons, so many that there’s no way I could touch upon all of them in a single review. Suffice it to say that it’s an action picture whose formula is broad enough to appeal to men (once the action starts, there’s never a dull moment), women (there’s a strong through-line about caring for society’s lost children), male teens (who wouldn’t want to be as coolly quiet as the … more