Monday, 18 June 2012

Korean Thrillers: The Man From Nowhere

The Man From Nowhere (Jeong-beom Lee, 2010) 
Essentially Taken but Korean, The Man From Nowhere takes the “rescuing a kidnaped girl”   narrative and then shrouds it in the sheer brutality and uncompromising essence of Korean thriller cinema. The plot follows an ex-special agent Tae-Shik (Won Bin) living a solitary and lonely life who, rather “clichély”, finds a sense of humanity through his friendship with a little girl called So-mi (Kim Sae-Ron). After her drug trafficking mother cheats her bosses, Tae-shik finds himself on a frantic and violent search for both mother and child. Delving into drug trafficking, organ trafficking and child abuse, it’s safe to say thatThe Man From Nowhere is a rather gritty and serious affair that rarely finds an moment of tranquility and solace. However like Pierre Morel’s ludicrous but entertaining Taken, Jeong-beolm Lee retains a fast-paced throughout the runtime, yet manages to still instil emotional substance to the ongoing chaos and energy. Sure the ludicrous and unrealistic quibbles continue into The Man From Nowhere, but nowhere near the same arrogance and ignorance of Morel’s film. While Liam Neeson’s performances tops Won Bin’s quite easily in the dialogue department, the stunt choreography and sheer vitality to Bin’s character culminates in some fantastic set-pieces undoubtably helped by the film’s well-directed cinematography. If you liked Taken or action cinema in general and aren’t put off by subtitles, then The Man From Nowhere is highly recommended.