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…