The Crime Club reconvenes to discuss The Man From Nowhere…


A reclusive pawnshop owner with a dark past befriends his neighbor, a neglected young girl.  After the girl’s mother steals a drug shipment, the rightful owners come looking to reclaim their stash – and exact a little revenge by kidnapping mom and daughter.  But our hero, it turns out, is a former covert operative for South Korean Intelligence.  And he wants his friend back.

Great performances from Won Bin as the reserved but lethal  and actress Sae-ron Kim as the precocious So-mi, but also some terrific performances by the colorful cavalcade of baddies, especially Thanayong Wongtrakul as the scarily dangerous (yet ultimately redeemable) Ramrowan.

The movie is written and directed by Jeong-beom Lee (who brought us No Tears for the Dead four years later), and he delivers a perfect action movie: dynamic fight sequences, crazy pursuits, ballistic ballets and, most importantly, at the heart of the movie, characters and a relationship you care about.

While watching the movie, before Cha Tae-sik cuts his hair (with a razor blade no less), I was struck by how much of a John Wick vibe I was getting.  Wonder if this movie offered any inspiration to the creators of the Keanu vehicle several years later?

A lot of standout scenes in this movie, but my favorite was the Bulletproof Windshield Sequence.  Watching it, I had a strange sense of deja vu, and I’m convinced an American movie stole this exact moment – but I can’t remember WHICH American movie.  To those of you saw The Man From Nowhere and know what I’m talking about, do you have any idea?

I have yet to be even mildly disappointed by any of these Korean crime thrillers.  Old Boy, Memories of Murder, I Saw the Devil, A Bittersweet Life – all equally brilliant.  And now I can add The Man From Nowhere to that list.

Alright!  Let’s try to keep the hits coming!  Next up, we’ll be watching the 1974 classic: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three…

6 thoughts on “September 4, 2020: The Crime Club convenes to discuss The Man From Nowhere!

  1. These Korean movies sound great! I just can’t do subtitles!

    I’ve seen the 2009 remake of “Pelham”. I’ll see if I can find the original!

  2. The original 1974 version was better. It’s out-dated, but good. Look for all the old familiar actors in it.

  3. I saw this trailer many times on TV many times as a kid and I don’t think I ever saw it. I do see that David Duchovny look like a young Walter Matthau. I love how chill the guys in the subway nerve center are and the passengers blasé reaction to the hijackers.

  4. Did you know the VHS tape is still available on Amazon for this movie? Anyway, this movie looks wonderful and it’s available to stream, so I’ll give it a go. I think my hubby might like this one too. We have the remake with Denzel. You’ve given me a good list to watch when I have time. Thanks!

  5. Saw the original when it first came out. Then later the first tv adaption in the 90’s. Had no idea they remade it again.

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