Lee Du-seok publishes an autobiography describing murders he committed after the statute of limitations expires. A detective and one of the victim's mothers search for the author while another killer begins a spree of murders.
An ex-special agent CHA Tae-shik's only connection to the rest of the world is a little girl, So-mi, who lives nearby. Her mother, Hyo-jeong smuggles drugs from a drug trafficking organization and entrusts Tae-shik with the product, without letting him know. The traffickers find out about her smuggling and kidnap both Hyo-jeong and So-mi. The gang promises to release them if Tae-shik makes a delivery for them, however it actually is a larger plot to eliminate a rival drug ring leader. When Hyo-jeon's disemboweled body is discovered, Tae-shik realizes that So-mi's life may also be in danger. Tae-shik becomes enraged at the prospect that So-mi may already be dead and prepares for a battle, putting his own life at risk.Written by
"This Man" is about as standard plot-wise as action movies get. A lone wolf type takes a little girl under his wing, the kid gets kidnapped, and he ends up having to go through heaps of bad guys in his quest to save the girl.
By all accounts, the movie should have evoked little more than a shrug. After all, anyone who has seen even just a moderate amount of action movies will have seen countless movies with variations of this basic plot. One might think of "Leon" or "Man on Fire" for some closer examples, or movies such as "Taken" in other respects.
What made this movie into my favorite action movie in a long while is the execution of that basic plot. "This Man" manages to create just the right dark, gloomy mood to match the story and all the characters are believable. None of the scenes appear contrived or overly tear-jerker. Another vital aspect for an action movie is, of course, that the action sequences are very well done. The movie is quite graphic, but not gratuitously so or for its own sake such as in many a recent horror movie (the Saw series comes to mind).
I guess the movie could be likened to a good apple pie - certainly nothing revolutionary, in fact quite the staple of its genre, but who would want to turn down a really good apple pie with quality ingredients?
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