Zen Man is an intelligent, perceptive and deeply moving film. It is also one of pure enjoyment. Director Sang H. Kim uses a group of gifted actors who are able to find true human emotion in a story that could have been a simple action film, but looks too deeply and evokes too much honest pain. Kim himself plays the Zen-master Han, a man more crippled by guilt than physical injury. There is an unmistakable uniqueness about Kim's performance. His quiet intensity reveals a man shaped by life as lived, by remembered events, fears and feelings, friends and enemies. It is a richly played role by a film-maker at the top of his game. Kim is surrounded by characters of dark intensity, each suffering from abiding anxiety. Antonio's character is heightened by his rage, while June and Priscilla quietly suffer the unavoidable pain of love lost. Zen Man is a wonderful juxtaposition of breathtaking action, difficult questions, and a truly inspired soundtrack. That it takes such a warm and uncompromising look at a modern family with real concerns renders it storytelling at its finest.
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