The Man from Nowhere (2010) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
123 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
9/10
Wow
MovieSonic15 March 2011
Simply wow.

A lot of people are put off by foreign language films and I hope those people don't let that stop them from watching this.

It has all the panache of a typical Hollywood film and I have to disagree with some comments that the back-story aspect is lacking compared with the action; my exact thoughts when watching this film were along the lines of "I cannot believe how genuine the character development is". The bond between the two main characters is extremely believable (huge props to the actress who played the young kid). I thought the fact that the film wasn't edited down to the hour-and-half standard probably gave them more room to develop and for an action film, there was much more intelligence than I was expecting to the story.

One of the best films I have seen in a long time.

9/10
151 out of 165 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Standard story, but superbly executed
jon5039 January 2011
"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?
124 out of 139 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Another fantastic thriller/drama brought to us by South Korea
5h4d0w31 October 2010
Let me start off by saying that I was skeptical whether I should watch this movie because of all the comparisons here to US productions. Because while I did enjoy most of the ones named, not enough to want to see a basically South Korean copycat at the theater.

If you fear the same thing: Don't worry! This movie is exactly what you would expect from great Korean cinema, comparable to the likes of "The Chaser", "Memories of Murder" and "A Bittersweet Life". In this movie, there is lots of rather believable tragedy, little kitsch (there is the occasional unsuitable one-liner and the girl sometimes says things that in my opinion are too mature for her age and yank a little too much at the emotional chain - these are basically the things that brought my rating down to 9/10) and a fair amount of graphic violence and realism in the fighting scenes. There are also some wacky characters just like they appear somewhat frequently in east Asian productions but I think they fit in quite nicely despite the otherwise very serious tone.

If one were to compare it to a US production, I would go with e.g. "A History of Violence" because of the serious tone and the realism but still, the overall style is drastically different.

The whole experience is nicely rounded off with a very beautiful score and the only thing I considered negative besides what I already mentioned was that the plot is moving very fast. At various points I was not sure whether I didn't pay enough attention or whether details were left out. Meaning for instance how one character got the information about another character. These connections of information between characters are not always clear in my opinion but it does not really hurt the story and I am sure that it would be clear with a second viewing - something that this movie absolutely deserves.
121 out of 140 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Violent yet touching.
bearofspades23 August 2010
This movie threatens to be a run-of-the-mill action movie, but manages to create its own identity. The sameness is how it shows most of its bad guys, and there are plenty, as one dimensionally evil. There are children who are put in harm's way, but not gratuitously--for the most part--providing the hero with a chance to be human.

It's very Korean in its thinking, which is always refreshing to me. Saying that, I was surprised by how much it reminded me of TAXI DRIVER. It's not a re-tread by any means, but it almost felt like the director was paying tribute to the earlier film in a couple of scenes. I have no idea if this is true. Most people I have talked to about this movie have never seen the other.

This is an action film and it does not disappoint on that level. Some of it is pretty brutal, but by the finale you will most likely feel that everyone gets what they deserve and, if anything, a few deserved more. This is because they manage to build characters we care about with out slowing down too much. The pacing is nicely done with properly placed comic moments as well. Some of the humor was a bit dark, which was also nice.

What surprised me was how much I cared for the main characters. The child was sweet but not overly so. I'm used to the child being inserted for sentimental or "Ahhhh" effects--like in the first RUSH HOUR--but that is mostly avoided here and it feels much more genuine over all.

There are cruel moments in the film but the film itself did not feel cruel. That is why I liked it. So often films are either mindless, or mean-spirited, and this one avoided these pit-falls.
116 out of 136 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
What I didn't expect...
rdbrown-zeteo31 March 2011
was to come out of the viewing experience wowed.

As I sat watching the movie. My general impression was, this is a good movie. It has a cool story. The acting is great, the characters are engaging. The action is good but not proving itself to be better than what most movies normally put out there.

Then came the end. And it ended with more than a bang. More like a beautiful, chaotic explosion.

This movie as a whole, was great. I am in WOW shock. Now, the end was amazing, but without the hour and a half of plot, story, characters, suspense, good fight/action scenes, sweet revenge, etc.... the end would not have been so incredible.

This movie is in comparison, like a cross between Taken, Bourne Identity (mildly similar to Bourne, he doesn't have memory problems or anything), Leon the Professional, and Man on Fire. Honestly. This movie rivals them all.

Its very gritty, very brutal. Very violent, and at times disturbing. But there is a lot of emotion and heart building up at the center of it all.

I don't know if you are one of those idiots who don't watch these movies because they don't want to read the subtitles and think that the dubbing is too cheesy and would take away from the movie, if you are. Get over it and you will end up experiencing a Dynamic movie you otherwise would not have watched.

If subtitles don't bother you. Then I suggest you go ahead and watch this one.
97 out of 113 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A Nutshell Review: The Man From Nowhere
DICK STEEL20 March 2011
You may want to compare this with, or see shades of the film from the likes of Luc Besson's The Professional, Pierre Morel's Taken and Tony Scott's Man on Fire, with the common running theme of a highly skilled operative taking it upon himself to rescue someone they love from the clutches of devious villains, and executing a brand of vengeance without remorse as he ploughs through and single-handedly demolishes all who stand in his way. The Man From Nowhere is South Korea's answer to this sub-genre, and does so with aplomb both in providing that emotional punch to the highly choreographed set action pieces.

The heartthrob Won Bin buffs up to become that titular character Cha Tae-Sik, a man with a secret past who now lives his life incognito in a shady pawnshop trade, striking up his only friendship with the outside world through Jeong So-Mi (Kim Sae Ron from A Brand New Life doing an excellent job once again), the kid from next door whose mom happened to offend drug traders who are also in the business of dealing with the lucrative body organs black market. In fact, the villains are portrayed in such negative light for the multitude of vices they get involved in, including kidnapping children for an Oliver Twist type of artful dodging profession as couriers, that you just cant' wait for them to get their just desserts.

So-Mi's capture and her mom's demise moves the plot forward with Cha having to rely on skills from his past to reclaim the only life of normalcy he knows, as he goes on a one man rampage trying to piece together how deep the rabbit hole of villainy goes, while on the chase by both the cops, led by Detective Kim Chi-Gon (Kim Tae-Hun) and the villains all out to put a stop to his series of destruction to their business. Like any Korean film, there is ample time given to deal with Cha's backstory, as well as to showcase Won Bin's good looks sans scruffy long hair and a perpetual scowl on the face. His previous film Mother and this one put together would already prove that Won Bin has a wide range of emotions to play unorthodox characters rather than just being another pretty boy on the block.

Now for all the action junkies who think they may have seen it all, this Korean flick ups the ante in at least two scenes which makes you sit up and take notice that the stunt coordinators are no pushovers and can offer something refreshingly different. There's that iconic leap from the balcony in The Bourne Ultimatum that had Jason Bourne chase someone through the balcony window in a leap that's followed by a camera. Here, the same got pulled off with the major difference being knowing it is precisely the actor Won Bin himself executing the move from a second storey leap through the window followed by a roll on the ground to break fall, all done in one swift motion, and unless some devious trick is used, that's the actor alright.

The other is the much lauded close quarters knife fight. It may be inspired by the likes of Oldboy or even Repo Men, but this one held it's own ground through its beautiful (yes it's a little weird using this to describe bloody violence) choreography striking up that sense of all round danger, with Cha going for the jugular with a lesson on anatomy with respect to where major arteries are located, paralyzing his opponents before fatally dealing with some. This culminates in Part B that moved from many to one, to a one on one battle that occasionally puts you in the first person's perspective.

Those scenes alone will be reason enough to watch this for a second time, and for fans of the revenge thriller flicks, The Man From Nowhere sets to deliver the no BS, dead serious treatment that will leave you applauding each time any bad guy bites the dust. Recommended!
61 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Another adrenaline rush explosive thriller from the koreans
frasif009 February 2011
Korean thriller makers are making a splendid job now-a-days, they have even succeeded the Hollywood thriller makers in this specific genre..The Man from Nowhere' is a perfect example of this. Anyone might think this is a mix of 'Leon:The Professional' and 'Man on Fire' where a highly trained but troubled person tries to protect a child, but this movie is more than that.There are many short but strong stories nicely fabricated that will keep You watching the total movie in a rush! Now come to the story. A mystery man with no past links suddenly becomes involved in a drug transport because of a child being kidnapped and unfortunately that child was the only link of him to the outerworld .So had to comeout from his own hideout and save the girl and find out the persons behind it. He has to defy the police as they are after it too, at a point the sad past life comes to daylight and it was well understood about his strange behavior of everything. This rouge so renegades the force and takes the action by his own. The stylish BOURNE looking action scenes specially needs to be appreciated.But I m not giving it the highest rating only its lacking of showing the touchy emotions in the best way..it was excess .Silence play a better role than words in some situations, it needed that. But the overall movie was simply sublime.reasonable violence was shown here..it was logical. Some funny characters and parts are nicely putted into, that enhanced the color and variety of the movie. But I am getting addicted to this korean thrillers." Memories of a murder', "Joint security Area', Vengeance trilogy( including OLDBOY), Infernal Affairs trilogy, 'The Chaser','Thirst','The Bittersweetness of Life', 'I Saw The Devil'..the serial is getting longer and longer..keep it up !!
60 out of 71 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Touching
nabelle28 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
After a long hiatus, I'm actually looking forward for a new movie/drama from Won Bin. And when I find out about Man From Nowhere, I didn't miss a chance to watch this movie.

Cha Tae Sik (Won Bin)is a mystery man who lead a quiet life and own a pawn shop. His neighbor is the girl, So-mi and her heroin addict mother, Hyo-Jeong. The mother smuggles drug from the drug trafficking organization and later murdered by them. So-mi was kidnapped and become one of the kids who work for the drug dealer. This is when we Tae Sik (turn out to be an ex-special agent CHA) deal with the drug dealer in order to save So-mi.

I don't want to go details about the storyline. What I want to highlight is the relationship between Tae Sik and So-mi. That's the part I enjoy the most about this film. You will find the relationship between Tae Sik and So-mi wonderful and heartwarming. It makes me cry when So-mi say "it's okay if the fat boy at school say I'm a Garbage but for you (Tae Sik)to ignore me it's really hurt in here (heart), I don't want to hate you because if I do, then there's no person in this world that I love" The ending also for sure will make everyone cry.

It's a good film and is worth watching especially to Won Bin fan (But there are scenes that you may find it so cruel and disturbing ). And you will definitely love the cute So-mi. She's one great actress.
19 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
A better version of "Man on Fire"
KineticSeoul19 October 2010
When I first saw the trailer to this movie, I wanted to go see it but wasn't like super hyped up for it. It basically looked like the Korean version of "LEON: The Professional". But this movie is like the Korean version of "Man on Fire" with fight sequences that are similar to the "Bourne" movies. I heard this film really skyrocketed Won Bin's popularity, especially in Korea and I could tell why. He really is a badass in this movie and his charisma is overflowing in this movie. One of the girl in the audience couldn't help but say "he is so cool" in Korean during the scene where Won Bin's character is driving angrily while on the phone with the bad guys while showing some intimidating emotion. The plot isn't super original or anything, basically "Man on Fire" with a better flow and more dark and gritty with better action in my opinion. Overall this film was a lot better than I expected and also kept my interest from beginning to end while also being entertained. The style of this movie reminded me of "A Bittersweet Life" in a good way which is a plus with saturated colors leaning towards the dark and blue. Some people might get a bit irritated by the constant camera shot to Won Bin's face while he takes a pose like in some magazine or something. But I could tell it's to sell the movie to female viewers as well. Excellent casting, pretty good story with some slick action scenes make this movie really worth seeing, there is something for guys and girls.

8.3/10
59 out of 77 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Who doesn't love revenge flicks!
ercarvajal13 April 2011
I don't know about those romantic crap lovers, with strange sexual tendencies, but for real men, this is the kind of film you would like to see with your fellas having some beer and pizza, while saying things like: Oh! S#$! What Tha@#$@$, did you see that?!

Yes it is an old theme, yes it's similar to Taken, The Professiona, Man on Fire, and even other Koreans like the Trilogy of Vengeance and I Saw the Devil,but still is so cool in such unique ways that you may want to see it a couple of times while showing your American friends how independent filming is done in Asia.

At the beginning, I thought it would be like many Korean movies with long slow paced scenes, dramatizing events, but no, it turned out to be a well balanced action movie, with a proper ending.
42 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Just a note of caution to the girls who are here purely to admire your eye candy: the movie's not for the faint-hearted!
moviexclusive23 March 2011
Have you ever thought how lost and distraught one can be following the loss of his/her loved ones? I guess this is a point that is worth pondering over, especially when we are witnessing such a tragedy unfolding in Japan.

" The Man From Nowhere", widely known as "Ajeossi" in South Korea, essentially depicts a man who has withdrawn himself from the society and lost his sense of worth and living due to the lost of his loved ones. However, he finally began to show affection and fondness in the little girl lives down the street; it was just like how tin man finally found his heart. They were each other's only friend. So when she is taken away, he fights with all his might and wit because he cannot possibly handle the loss of his only beloved friend.

This simple plot is very well executed. In terms of the pacing, it was just right and through subtle interactions between Taesik (played by Won Bin) and Somi (played by Kim Sae-ron), they show their high interdependency and chemistry. There was not a single part of the movie that is boring. Your tension is constantly kept at high, and you will be sometimes treated with some tidbits of laughter.

The narrative is definitely not the only attraction to this movie that eventually became the top selling movie in South Korea in the year 2010. Possibly the other main attraction is the film's cinematography. This movie has superb fight choreography (underscores superb). Brace yourself for a bloody massacre, but one that is not just of a bloody mess but of mission and gracefulness. This, coupled with creative angles and excellent sound effects, you get a movie that is of high production value. This alone assures you that the money that you spend on the movie is worthwhile.

How can one forget the other important factor? It's the protagonist. Won Bin has made several breakthroughs in his acting career that started back in 1997. However, this is probably by far the most successful role that he has taken up. With this single role, he has bagged 7 awards. Is that justified? Certainly! From the initial bizarre look and stare, to later on how he soften his look towards the little girl he wants to protect, to the flashback where it depict his downfall and devastation, to the ruthless and merciless look that was fuelled by hatred and despair when he was in search of the little girl… they were all effectively delivered to the audience. You can get so drawn into his acting that you may feel the sheer violence is justified. One moment you grief with the man who lost his loved ones, the next moment you crease your forehead at his brutality. The balance of this multi-faceted character is definitely not easy, but Won Bin did it. Also commendable is that there was no stuntman that stood in for the combat scenes. All the fist, knives and guns action were executed by him. His black belt in Taekwondo definitely comes in handy for his role. Indeed he has proved himself to be more than just an eye candy.

As the movie is coming to an end, it takes on a twist that prevented another episode of tragedy. The ending scene was definitely perplexing at first, but it turns out to be the man has finally found his 'home' for his heart, where he can pour out his affection and love once more. With the calming ending track leading into the credits, you cannot help but be affected, that is being moved to tears. To sum it all: great acting, great production, great movie.

  • www.moviexclusive.com
37 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Decent film and entertaining
trcky15 July 2011
You've seen the story before in The Professional or Man on Fire. Man with a checkered past gets drawn into unintentional friendship with kid, who falls prey to bad guys due to extraordinary circumstances. Plot is actually fairly unique and interesting (we get a peek at a creative underworld business strategy in Seoul's Chinatown), one of the bad guys has a fun role, and the relationship between the hero and the kid comes across as pretty genuine. Action is pretty decent as well (if you turn off your realism filter). Dialogue and writing are slightly sub-par, but it doesn't detract too much from the pace and plot of the film. It shouldn't win many awards, but this film is worth watching for sure.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A good action flick.
imdb-195489 July 2011
The plot isn't original, a damaged special agent trying to lead a quite life gets dragged into danger to protect a young girl, but it is done very well.

The pace is good, we have a nice mix of action and story at the start to make Cha Tae-sik's attachment to the girl believable, the action gets more involved and quicker as we progress.

The acting is good, Bin Won is convincing and for a change so are the villains, they aren't over the top comic book evil, they are just criminals, and the big surprise is that Sae-ron Kim manages to play the annoying child character without being annoying, an excellent performance from her.

The action sequences are well done, violent without being very gory, some elaborate martial arts and some simple brutality.

The ending is OK, it tries to hard to be emotional but at least it doesn't try to be clean and sanitised.

It reminded me most of the Bourne films and, although it is a lower grade than they are, you should still find a lot to enjoy here if you liked them.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Let me hug you just once.
lastliberal-853-25370818 March 2012
I am captivated by child actors that can really put out a fantastic performance. Sae-ron Kim is one such actress. She alone makes this film work watching.

But the story is really about the pawnbroker Cha Tae-sik (Bin Won). Charles Bronson has nothing on him. Anyone who crosses his path really has a death wish, and that death will probably not be clean and pretty.

Using the considerable skills he learned in the military, Cha runs through the evil doers like a knife though butter.

If you like A History of Violence, you will love this film. And, if you like Bin Won, you have to see Mother.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Well done thriller with convincing action and characters
lionclaw7728 March 2011
As of recent I've been watching several good revenge flicks in the likes of Taken, Man On Fire, The Brave One, Edge of Darkness, and Death Sentence. All these movies work in there own ways not because of non-stop awesome action but because of the emotional appeal and pacing. This film is no different.

The Man From Nowhere follows Cha Tae-Sik, a long haired and deep voiced man who likes to keep a low profile. His only real link to a normal life and only friend comes from his neighbor, So-mi. After So-mi and her mom are kidnapped by gangsters looking for their stolen drugs. As Cha Tae Sik gets closer to fining So-mi the more his mysterious past comes on to the open.

The Man From Nowhere is nothing we haven't scene before plot wise and is not crammed with action. What makes The Man From Nowhere work is its phenomenal pacing and exceptional acting from most of the cast. In the beginning you know next to nothing about Cha Tae-Sik but by the end of the movie a lot comes clear about why he acts the way he does. The real action takes awhile to hit but when it hits it really hits. This was some of the most realistic and brutal action I've ever seen from Korea. A very impressive knife fight towards the end of the movie is worth your patience. Trust me.

The acting from Bin Won(Cha Tae-Sik) and So-mi(Sae-ron Kim) was amazingly touching. You really cared about these characters which gave strength to this movie. By the end you will almost be in tears.

The directing of this movie was also some of the best I've seen from Korea. The dark tone and nearly flawless picture shows me how far up Asian cinema has come. A stand out shot is when Cha Tae-Sik jumps out of a window two or three stories up, rolls over, and continues running all seemingly in one take. I think it was cg stitched together but it looked very convincing.

Overall this movie has an old plot but stands out because of the tone, pacing, and wonderful acting. I recommend this movie to anyone who loves good revenge flicks. You won't be disappointed!
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Unforgiving and furious, a bizarre revenge tale about a plague of trafficking rings that provoke one man to fight back.
tntokmenko28 March 2013
Asian crime dramas about the devastation of heroin distribution seem to be all the rage now, however I applaud this film as this is only one facet to a larger story. What we have in The Man From Nowhere is essentially three types of crime movies rolled into one. Where the film succeeds is that it does not borrow too heavily from predecessors in the Korean revenge circuit, and proceeds to craft an interesting story with elements that are both unique and welcome to the genre.

The plot revolves around an isolated man's friendship with a little girl, that reminds him of a life he used to enjoy before it was taken away. Well the little girl ends up being taken away, and a cat & mouse game ensues to get her back. He will stop at nothing to redeem himself for the life he once lost, and cannot bear losing it a second time. This story has been done many times, however there are further developments in the plot that completely changes the structure of the movie making it another beast altogether. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, with Seoul being presented in many perspectives which you can feel like modern, corrupt, beautiful, destructive, etc. The acting is all top- notch, and not for one moment did any performance or dialogue take me out of the atmosphere of the movie. The only issue that bothered me was the way certain characters were introduced and how they were connected to others. It becomes hard to decipher the ties between the many baddies that appear in this film, and while this may be intentional to keep the audience in the dark, revealing the characters to the audience later on still came across as convoluted. There are multiple bad guys which do multiple functions for multiple organizations which becomes a mess for the audience to figure out. A minor complaint but less screen time should have been spent for certain disposable baddies.

Now the action is presented in explosive bursts. It is genuinely gritty and intense which is seen in few action movies today. The film is not an action movie by any stretch, however the few sequences that are in here are worth the price of admission alone. They are built up and they do deliver. The drama is exaggerated but reasonable for the subject matter, although one or two "evil acts" the bad guys do are just stupid and darkly comical. Regardless The Man From Nowhere is a very entertaining revenge film, and I wholeheartedly recommend to those seeking a fresh twist on bare- knuckle bloodshed. -8/10
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Great thriller with a dark edge
ozi_wozzy29 November 2012
I have been a fan of Korean thriller/drama since the 'revenge' trilogy, so my standards have been set very high. I went into this movie hoping I wouldn't be disappointed and that it wouldn't try to be another 'Oldboy'...and I was pleasantly surprised.

There are a lot of clichés about the film, including reminders of 'Leon' in the sense of a brooding loner with a desperate connection to a little girl, but it really works. The police and the bad characters are also clichéd but in a good, convincing way. The story line about the brutality of the Korean/Chinese gangs and their complete lack of value for any human life is believable and sad.

Few things raised the film above other good Asian violent gangster flicks for me. The lead character was very well played. His portrayal of the 'man in solitary pain' was great and I'm glad there was no OTT outbursts to try and explain his character or history. The little girl was also excellent and convincing. Their relationship really works with some genuinely touching moments. Also, the fights scenes were well above other flicks I've seen. They were brilliantly executed and struck a good balance between violent but not OTT.

Overall, it was a thoroughly satisfying movie and I'm glad I chose it.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
A pretty good korean action drama, one that can enjoy with the likes of korean greats such as Oldboy and others.
lochotan15 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
SO let me get this straight..Some people like to compare this to iconic movies such as: Leon the professional" and "Taken", which themselves are movies I've already seen and immensely enjoyed. Of course some elements and little pieces of plot are borrowed, but that is not quite so as the movie at it's on right, stands strongly as an original masterpiece. Everything, shots, characters, music and choreographed fighting scene, has that certain "wow factor" and is sublime in the movie, beautifully directed by Director Jeong-Beom Lee.

Tae-Sik Cha acted by Bin won, who also appeared in the Korean crime movie "mother" (2009) and brother hood of war (2004) puts out an excellent display of acting, melodrama and slick fighting. I am judgemental about character appearance and the choice of his haircut is intriguing to note at the beginning, which from some bizarre oddities with me today, I thought I should write. The long-metro sexy haircut we often associate with Justic Bieber is an element designed to mask his shadowy and mysterious past. It also acts to mislead the antagonists about his unknown strengths, which I got to say is spectacular when revealed in action scenes(Those guys didn't knew who they were dealing with!). Mid way through the movie, the act of cutting his hair signalled a climatic turning point to save his unfortunate neighbour Mi-do and an heightening problem for the gangsters he is confronting with (he meant business!). Tae-sik angrily warns the captors that "People living for tomorrow, have no chance living today." - which is sort of true. Of course, what he promises, he delivers, and there's no short of expectations of the body count that piles up later on...

Overall the movie is awesome and is highly recommended to watch for blokes who can tolerate a bit of melodrama. Most times when I watch tear jerking moments I act indifferent. But in the movie, "The man from nowhere," the tear jerking moments was presented very honestly and without cliché, so I got a little bit emotiona...inside...
10 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Korean man on fire
RogerB-P3RV323 September 2012
The mysterious Tae-Sik Cha (Bin Won) has grown attached to his precocious neighbor So-Mi (Sae-ron Kim) despite her drug-addled mum's objection. The latter's involvement in stealing narcotics from major heavies' results in So-Mi's being kidnapped. Tae-Sik is inadvertently thrust into seedy world of drugs trade & human organ harvesting syndicate. But the brooding hero possess array of unique skills to take on the baddies and rescue So-Mi.

Shades of Shane (1953) and Man on Fire (1987) in terms of story but this South Korean actioner has immaculate productions values and absorbing pace to maintain interest from beginning to end. And what about that tremendous climatic knife-fight culminating with bloody face-off against Thai actor Thanayong Wongtrakul playing the silent henchman.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Amazing story !
cadadmail25 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Being an elite trained agent - retired and avoiding life - thus avoiding memories things were at a nice quiet level for Cha Tae-sik. Except for a little girl Jeong So-mi. Thanks to her mother BAM...the roller-coaster starts at max speed, one is barely able to catch their breath. Tae search for Somee is driven and well written (an equal to any hero search). The fight scenes are amazing! The movies pace keeps you wondering who's bad and shocked at who is. The bad guys really DO bad things - so be warned - NO KIDS under 12! Unless you plan to explain all aspects of adult life.

The subtitles are clear and easy to read. Violence of course is bloody but not "crazy" or over the top. I guess 'real' is the word. Language also matches adults in being bad - evil. Drug use, and scenes that will cause nightmares to many especially the under 12 - as many kids are abused badly.

I am very glad to have found this movie. 9 stars.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant movie, story matters more than the effects!!
rohitall1 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was just browsing through IMDb genre's to add some good movies to my watch list and i came up against this. I must admit that this is by far the best action movie considering the story line which is based on the reality in which we live in as most of the action films are either fiction or unreal.

This movie is surely not made for the weak hearted and for the kids, however if u really want to enjoy a good action movie with a real story line then this one is surely in ur Bucket list!!

I guess this one is surely an example set for the others that "stories does matter" more than the money spent on the effects (3D, graphics, animation)
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Not original but fun
kimkegaard11 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a mixture of Bourne+Leon. There is nothing new about it. A man protects a girl.

But it's fun. It's thrilling. The fight scenes are awesome. If you are looking for some good kick butt time like Bourne, you'll have it.

And the drama is good enough to touch you. Hollywood does not have this drama part in an action movie but Koreans always pull it off. There is one or two parts that's gonna make your eyes teary.

And most of all, I liked this movie because it was a happy-ending. I was tired of main characters dying in Korean movies but this one doesn't.

Korean movies are getting there.
18 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant .. Hollywood version is a lock... but this is the one to see
A_Different_Drummer9 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
You have to remember that there is a school of thought that suggests that martial arts were invented in Korea. Whether you buy that premise or not, you can be assured they take their action movies seriously. On paper the notion of a mysterious pawnbroker with an unknown past, who just wants to be left alone, who befriends the child of a local party-girl .. well, it does not prepare you for this adventure. In truth, this film has more in common with Matt Damon as Bourne than any other recent American film I can think of. He is polite, he is pleasant, but you push this guy the wrong way and, bang, the bodies just start to pile up. No question some B-level Hollywood shop will go for the fast dollar and do a remake. But this will always be the one to watch.

**Updated May 2015 ** In 2013, I said the Hollywood version was a lock. I was right. It was called The Equalizer and starred Denzel Washington. It was a combination of this story and the old TV series of the same name. In the final scene of this US version (which many missed) the writers left the door open for a sequel or even a franchise, which appears to have been greenlighted as I pen these words. And I was right about something else -- this version is still better. See it. ****
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Dark and Deep...
tigerstar1541 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Man from Nowhere

My love for Korean movies is starting to become very obsessive. While the theme of revenge has present throughout many films, such as Man on Fire, Taken etc, this one is awesome yet sad.

A quiet man who works at a pawnshop squares off with the mafia to save a girl.

The Pluses: Woh Bin, the action scenes, the innocence of the little girl and the story moved a lot faster.

The Minuses: Too gory, and so much cussing.

Overall, The Man from nowhere is an awesome gun toting movie. It may be a simple story (guy saving girl) but no, it is much more complex than that. This movie is not for sensitive viewers. 9/10
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Love This Movie
workoutisn18 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I watched it twice. a little bloody; so much so that its not quite believable. I wonder if that style of using blood is closer to actuality than what i've seen in most American made movies. Cha's acting is superb. He is really gorgeous, although a little skinny. Actually all the actors were excellent. So Mi is such a beautiful little girl. Her scenes made me cry. Wish Cha had smoother fighting moves during the last fight. i did not expect IP Man smooth, but the moves could have been a little better. I have NEVER seen so many good looking Korean/Asian (hope i'm correct) men in my life. Especially the leader of the three government guys that came to take over the investigation into Cha. WOW!!! This was really a nice change from Hollywood movies which uses the same 50 are so actors for every movie made.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed