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  The Man From Nowhere  
 
The Man From Nowhere

Won Bin is The Man From Nowhere.
 
Korean: 아저씨  
  Year: 2010    
  Director:

Lee Jeong-Beom

   
  Producer:

Lee Tae-Heon

 
  Writer:

Lee Jeong-Beom

   
  Cast:

Won Bin, Kim Sae-Ron, Kim Tae-Hoon, Kim Hee-Won, Kim Sung-Oh, Thanayong Wongtrakul, Kim Hyo-Seo, Lee Jong-Pil

 
The Skinny: A generic actioner that impresses thanks to stylish direction, awesome production values and a dynamite lead performance from Won Bin. You've seen this before but a new coat of paint and a strong star can work wonders.
   
Review
by Kozo:

Won Bin throws his hat into the action movie ring with The Man From Nowhere, a generic thriller buoyed by awesome production values, solid style and a strong physical performance from its leading man. Won is Cha Tae-Sik, a down-and-out pawnbroker living next to Hyo-Jeong (Kim Hyo-Seo), an exotic dancer with a young daughter named So-Mi (Kim Sae-Ron). Hyo-Jeong is involved in all sorts of shady stuff, but So-Mi is all right; her worst vice is shes too friendly with strange men, namely Tae-Sik, whos gruff but not actually dangerous. Thats because hes really an OK dude who had a run of bad luck, leading to his current crappy existence. Tae-Sik's tragic backstory is slowly revealed as he becomes embroiled in a drug and organ smuggling operation, during which So-Mi to is kidnapped by the bad guys. Their mistake. Tae-Sik's past is pretty bad, but its nothing compared to the punishment he plans to inflict on So-Mi's kidnappers.

The plot of The Man From Nowhere offers nothing new. Tae-Sik is a skilled expert at various methods of maiming and killing, but personal tragedy has made him a wounded introvert. But against all odds, he finds his humanity reawakened by a connection to a precocious innocent. Think Leon meets The Road Warrior with a generous helping of Jason Bourne thrown in, and you should get the picture. That last comparison is particularly apt, as Tae-Sik's way with guns, knives and fists is fast and efficient, and director Lee Jeong-Beom uses plenty of shaky-cam to make the action more immediate and kinetic. Thankfully, the herky-jerky camera also hides some of the more extreme violence; The Man From Nowhere is quite violent, with blood, limbs and all sorts of viscera flying about, and the punishment may upset those who prefer their action heroes to remain PG-13. Genre fans who like their floors slick with blood will be satisfied, however.

Between action and chase sequences, The Man From Nowhere occasionally falters. The bad guys belong to a library of clichés, from over-the-top hateful to quietly honorable, while Tae-Sik and So-Mi's burgeoning connection is more routine than inspired. The biggest deal here is Won Bin, who downplays his prettiness and taps his dramatic skills to play a kickass action hero who possesses hair that ranges from "loose shuffle" to "efficient buzz." Those present to check out Won Bin's chiseled form will enjoy the many shots of his shirtless torso and gorgeous looks, while red meat eaters get their violence fix. In many ways, The Man From Nowhere is Won's Bittersweet Life, in that it portrays the actor as gorgeous and ubercool without making any apologies. There's always a danger of an actor looking more silly than suave with these sorts of vanity actioners, but Won Bin pulls off the part with gritty, coiled grace. With Man From Nowhere, Won Bin looks to have expanded the film genres available to him. He'd be perfect for Ninja Assassin 2, but hopefully he's smarter than that. (Kozo, Reviewed at the Udine Far East Film Festival, 2011)

 
   
Availability:

DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
CJ Entertainment
2-DVD Set
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English Subtitles
Various Extras
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

 
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