The Man from Nowhere is a Korean action thriller from director Jeong-beom Lee. The plot follows a quite pawn shop worker who befriends a child. The child’s mother attempts to steal a drug delivery and is subsequently kidnapped along with her daughter. What they don’t count on is that the pawn shop worker is ex-special forces.. Of the Jason Bourne kind.
Lead actor Bin Won, most notably from the Korean epic Brotherhood, does a very good job as the introverted but deadly Tae-Sik Cha. He is able to pull off every bit of break neck speed action with fluidity and also provides good acting to back it up. A mention must also go to the film’s lead actress Sae-ron Kim who plays the kidnapped child, she has a developed maturity in her acting, although at one point has a drawn out monologue which is more befitting for someone in a midlife crisis.
The film’s action is captured incredibly well, as has become the norm with most Hollywood “gritty realism” the camera movement is all over the place, making it sometimes difficult to follow the action, thanks Paul Greengrass. The Man from Nowhere does use this in parts, but knows when and how to use it to good effect. The scene where Tae-Sik Cha breaks through the glass to escape the building got a double take from me and a knife fight that would probably go on the list of top fights in any film, on par with the hallway scene from Oldboy. The are also small touches of detail to the action which add an extra layer of realism.
It is well paced which action interspersed when need be, whilst the plot kept me interested and engaged, with villains being more than just one dimensional bad guys. Though it did have an overly sentimental ending which had me cringing, this didn’t really detract from the whole. The Man from Nowhere is definitely a film I’d recommend to go see and towers above the usual action fare.
Crime, Thriller | South Korea, 2010 | 18 | DVD | April 11, 2011 (UK & Ireland) | Entertainment One UK | Dir:Jeong-beom Lee | Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim , Hyo-seo Kim