Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Man From Nowhere

Once again I am extremely appreciative for things like Netflix and sites that specialize in or prominently feature Asian cinema. Thanks to them I've discovered some amazing entertainment that fits my tastes perfectly. This time the discovery I made was The Man From Nowhere. If you are a fan of action movies with a bit of characterization involved than this is your flick. 

At first I thought this movie was going to be a bit of a Taken-type of film considering the plot does contain some similar elements. That's not exactly accurate, though. The Man From Nowhere isn't quite as brainless and there's nothing unintentionally silly about it. This movie is a pretty dark flick and it's not as much of a chase movie as it is about the bond between a pawnshop operator named Cha Tae-sik and a little girl named So-mi who happens to have a heroin addict for a mother. In a way I guess you could say this movie is more The Professional then Taken (odd that Luc Besson directed both of those, huh?).

When some thugs sent by crime boss Oh Myung-gyu come for the heroin that So-mi's mother stole Cha Tae-sik finds himself drawn into the crosshairs as well. So-mi's mother had intentionally pawned off her camera bag containing the loot to Cha Tae-sik, making Tae-sik an unknowing accomplice. 

After the thugs kidnap So-mi and her mother, Cha Tae-sik is forced to act as Man-seok and Jong-seok's mule if he want to protect So-mi.

But Cha Tae-sik isn't just going to play around for long because So-mi is now being used as an "ant" and soon her organs are going to be harvested and sold on the black market. 

If he wants to save her he's got to go up against an entire organized crime group by himself while evading the clutches of the police. Cha Tae-sik isn't a weakling, though. In an almost Dean Koontz main character type of fashion, Cha Tae-sik is revealed to have a mysterious past and lethal skills that shouldn't be underestimated. If anyone can rescue So-mi then it's him. 

Trust me, if you want action and fights then there's all that and more here. 

Won Bin is great as the lead character and Lee Jeong-beom's direction is tight and fluid, but the true star of this movie is Kim Sae-ron. She was only ten years old when this movie was being made and she is just adorable as So-mi. 

At only two hours this is about the shortest Korean film I've seen. It also has the closest to a happy ending I've seen in a Korean film. So if you lost all hope for life after Silenced (aka The Crucible) then this film should provide you with a good pick-me-up. 

There are plenty of reasons to watch this movie and I suggest that you pick one of them and do it. 


  1. I put it in my queue and when I was doing that I noticed in the recommendations, there was another Asian flick that looks good called A Company Man.

  2. I've got that one in my queue, too. :)

  3. I just finished watching it and I was impressed. They did a great job at creating a gloomy mood. So much so, that I wasn't sure at the end whether it was going to end good or bad. SPOILER - This movie was so dark, I would not have been a bit surprised if the eyes turned out to be the girl's eyes and he blew himself away at the end. The story was not really anything new but the film makers did such a great job with the mood and the look of the film that they took a standard action story and made it seem new.

    1. Here's that link: