In The Man From Nowhere, Won Bin sheds his image and transforms into a black suit and shaggy, overgrown hair, who can kill anyone without blinking an eye. If there is anything in this world that I love, it’s violent thrillers filled with action, melodrama, and Asian people. Luckily for me, this film has all three. Though not without its flaws, this film had me at the edge of my seat. If you’re an action junkie, this guy makes Bruce Willis seem like Kindergarten Cop. He sprays bullets like an early John Woo flick, slits open the throats of men, smashes their heads, and jumps out of buildings into cars that would have Jason Statham jealous. Currently, it is number one at the box office in Korea beating out the Hollywood flicks like Inception. Quite impressive to say the least.
So, I am aware that not everyone who reads this review has a thirst for action and mayhem such as myself so I suppose I should warn everyone that some scenes are deliberately brutal and disgusting. If you have seen many Korean films then you will know exactly what is coming next and when you guess correctly, however it is the sheer disregard for human life that makes this film stand out from the crowd. After all, the film follows a reclusive man with a dark past, who has little to no social skills. This in turn, trencends into an akward commentary but fight scenes that are laced with slick choreography that feature copious amount of blood. The great thing about this film is that it never really slows down and you are engaged throughout the whole thing.
The film really could have used a tighter editing. Guilty, I enjoyed the movie so much I overlooked a lot of what was wrong with it on the way out. The acting is very shoddy, and as said before, the script needed work but Korean films fall prey to this sort of thing on a daily basis and it is expected. The film’s star, Won Bin, just looked liked he wanted to be anywhere else in the world but actually doing this film. However, in real life, just like his on screen character, his eyes perked up and he seemed to care more when the meat of the film picks up. What I am talking about of course, is a troubled, lonesome girl living with a single mother who works in a red-light district. She seems to be the only person this character cares about.
The story doesn’t hold any big surprises, but it is still a pretty cool ride. The director, who is fairly new at making films still needs to tighten up his focus and camera placements but I see progress in his work and all is forgiven. I would highly recommend this film to those seeking a thriller. The running time of the film was a little long and needed some fat to be trimmed but no complaints aside as the fight scenes exhibited sheer brutality that had my jaw drop on some scenes. All in all, The Man From Nowhere’s extreme violence will distract those who try to nitpick its shortcomings and that to me, is a success.