Netflix Pick: ‘The Man From Nowhere’

The Man From Nowhere (2010)
Directed by Jeong-beom Lee
In Korean with English subtitles
119 mins.

By Tim Lucia

Korean films are always dark, and The Man From Nowhere is no exception.  Although it is still not as dark as any film by Chan-wook Park (Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengance) whose films could be described by Sam Elliott as “darker than a black steer’s tookus on a moonless prairie night”.  Jeong-beom Lee’s film is somewhat similar to Tony Scott’s Man on Fire, but without Scott’s trademark hyper-editing.  Former badass special agent Tae-shik (Bin Won) lives a lonely existence as a pawn shop owner after the tragic death of his wife.  He eventually befriends a young girl named So-mi (Sae-ron Kim) whose mother is a drug mule for a local gang.  Tae-shik is given the product by the mother, and soon both she and So-mi are both kidnapped by the ruthless gang.  Tae-shik rushes to their aid and quickly finds the mother murdered, and fears the same will happen to So-mi.  He then infiltrates the gang and begins taking out its members in a brutal, albeit kick-ass, fashion.  The Man From Nowhere is an intense, gritty, action-thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  One of the better action films in the past few years.

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