The Man From Nowhere
(R, 1:59:24, Released 2010)
|Genres:||Art House & International, Action & Adventure|
|Release Date:||Sep 30, 2010|
|DVD Release Date:||Mar 8, 2011|
|Starring:||Bin Won, Kim Sae-ron, Sae-Ron Kim, Hyo-seo Kim|
|Directed by:||Jeong-beom Lee|
|Synopsis:||A retired special agent forges an unlikely bond with his neglected young neighbor, and vows to bring the girl back home safely after she's kidnapped by violent criminals. When Tae-Shik hung up his guns to open a small pawn shop, he also shut himself off from the world. Tae-Shik prefers to live in solitude, yet he still takes a liking to his precocious neighbor So-mi, whose mother pay her little attention. When So-Mi's mother crosses a local gang of criminals who respond by kidnapping the desperate mother and daughter, Tae-Shik realizes that he may be their only hope of making it out of the situation alive. After entering into a tenuous agreement with the local mob, Tae-Shik becomes the target of an intense police manhunt and finds himself besieged on all sides. Now the closer Tae-Shik gets to So-Mi and her mother, the more his dark past finally begins coming into focus. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
|All of Flixster:||(3384)|
My Friends' Reviews
Other Top Reviews
January 30, 2013
Korean cinema does it again. We've seen lots of vengeance, man on a mission movies like this, with the awful Taken and the brilliant Man On Fire springing to mind. Man From Nowhere falls with the latter as an unforgettable tour de force. Bin Won stars as a man without a past who owns a pawnshop. He strikes up a friendship with the little girl nextdoor and when she is kidnapped the people behind it get more than they bargained for. The action scenes are incredible in both their execution and their realism. Bin Won is a relentless assassin, and in one knife fight he is slicing armpits and wrists rather than going for easy stabbings. You really get a sense of what is at stake here, and it's just as much a story of redemption as it is a story of revenge. There's also some social commentary on how children from 'lower' families are looked down upon but should have just as much of a future as anyone else. Fantastic.
March 29, 2012
Easily one of the best films to have come out of Asia in the last few years. Makes "Taken" look like a kids movie. Action, blood, guns and a great storyline.
March 24, 2012
Jeong-beom Lee's The Man from Nowhere goes somewhere and turns out to be one solid Korean crime thriller.
Granted the plot's lack of originality, but that doesn't mean that this film is no good. The pace is slow at times and the initial setup is quite long, which in turn contributes to a total run time that approaches two hours, but the film's final 40 minutes delivers with thrills and satisfaction.
The action isn't highly stylized, although it does get better and more enjoyable as the film progresses; thus leading to a finale that contains some high grade activity. When it comes to the violence, it is bloody and sufficient enough for an R rating.
Won Bin has a monotonous character; however, and while this still drags the film down a bit, it fits in with how he is written into the plot. The young Sae-ron Kim is a joy to watch, especially when in the presence of Won Bin.
The Man from Nowhere succeeds in what it sets out to be; a solid picture out of Korea.
March 17, 2012
I thought this was just amazing! It felt like Drive on steroids. The acting was solid and the story was just heart breaking at times. Some scenes feel like a sucker punch to the face since the stunts are just fantastic! Loved it and would watch it again!
March 9, 2012
The first half has the grittiness and the typical yet engaging plot of a Korean gangster flick, but the second half completely falls apart. Not to mention, the movie follows all the cliches of a Korean gangster and drama movie. Also, the action scenes are deliberately taken from the Bourne series. Entertaining but very disappointing.
October 2, 2011
"I only live for today. I'll show you just how fucked up that can be."
A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug- and organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.
The Man from Nowhere isn't exactly the most original film ever, especially in its rather simple story, but where it's not necessarily that impressive in its story framework, it is loaded to the gills with great action sequences and enough suspenseful moments to provide a strong enough degree of visceral entertainment to make up for its faults.
The story itself mimics a number of other action-oriented pursuit films: the professional killer and little girl setup of Leon (absent the girl for much of the film), the violent revenge action of A Bittersweet Life with less flash and the investigation of The Chaser, but with less bumbling and thrills. Ultimately, I'd say the film captures the melodramatic tone of Leon with a lot of blunt heartstring jerking moments. Although it's quite transparent that the film isn't working too hard to create much in terms of a story, I think that the skeletal story very effectively sets up the motivation for our badass to get into a number of brutal fights and even throws in a couple twists here and there (nothing big, but smart enough that they aren't obvious). It's not so dumb that you need to check your brain at the door, only your black-hearted cynicism for the melodrama.
You may want to compare this with, or see shades of the film from the likes of Luc Besson's The Professional, Pierre Morel's Taken and Tony Scott's Man on Fire, with the common running theme of a highly skilled operative taking it upon himself to rescue someone they love from the clutches of devious villains, and executing a brand of vengeance without remorse as he ploughs through and single-handedly demolishes all who stand in his way. The Man From Nowhere is South Korea's answer to this sub-genre, and does so with aplomb both in providing that emotional punch to the highly choreographed set action pieces.
September 25, 2011
The man from nowhere could use a plot from somewhere else beyond clicheland. Mr Won Bin is a fine actor, and the movie has well made action pieces, but there are several problems with the script and feel of the movie. From the movie's obsession to present the lead character as the most dangerous man who ever walked the planet, to useless characters like an obnoxious detective who adds nothing to the plot. The melo-cliches, and the movie trying a bit too hard at times to be like Leon, doesn't help either.. Because Won Bin is presented as this super effective killing machine the action sequences lack tension, he always destroys everything and everyone with no effort whatsoever. An ok time waster, nothing more.
September 18, 2011
Fantastic movie!!! Intriguing, Dark. Gritty. Touching, Thrilling. Intense...and, of course, being a 'Revenge Flick'...Violent. Extremely well done. Great dialogue. I am adding this one to my all time favorites list! :)
fb1216165431September 10, 2011
The Man From Nowhere is a dark revenge film with a good dose of balanced violence and meritorious themes. Credible acting from Won Bin, who has proved to be an actor of top caliber much more than of good looks. Satisfaction guaranteed.
August 29, 2011
Does anybody in South Korea smile? If they do, I certainly haven't seen it. In fact, the only glimpses I get of Seoul recently are very grim and uncompromising. I should at least be thankful that the recent slew of South Korean cinema is a cut above the rest of the world's fare. In this film, very much in the same vein as Man on Fire and Taken, an ex special agent uses his special training to save a little girl with whom he has a paternal connection with. The acting is for the most part solid, but the action scenes are very well constructed and are what really gives this film its spark. They are well shot, brutally realistic, and the director takes some rewarding chances. One in particular is when the main character leaps through a window and lands on the street below with the camera following him the entire time. What could have been gimmicky is pulled off rather smoothly here. In fact, I think that last sentence could be applied to the film as a whole.
June 10, 2011
Falling in the veins of "Man on Fire" (which I haven't watched as yet having watched its Bollywood remake) and Taken, this one just didn't work for me. Besides the familiar plot, the action sequences weren't so cool either. Probably it's just me (since more than 80% Flixster Users have liked it) who also found it to be an intolerable drag after the first hour or so. And the ending was a bit too nonsensical to digest.
April 21, 2011
Korean films always seem to be pretty good, and this one is no exception. It follows the story of a mysterious guy who runs a pawn shop and keeps to himself. Some dark past/tragedy is hinted at but not revealed until later in the film. He lives next door to a neglected young girl, So-mi, who lives with her stripper/junkie mother. He and So-mi strike up a kind of friendship, both being outsiders, it kind of makes sense, and......................SPOILERS................. when the mother is killed, and So-mi is kidnapped, he tries to rescue her and take down the crims responsible. Those two, for me, were the highlight of the film, though some of their relationships seemed contrived for the story.
The low point was the many, many other characters, some cops, some crims - I really found it hard to follow who was who and who was doing what. I also really hated the pretty boy baddie - seriously, he looked like he belonged in Zoolander, not this type of movie!
I also found some of the fight scenes far fetched and dull, but I guess that's just a personal thing - I generally don't enjoy that type of thing in a movie.
I couldn't say this was my favourite, but it is a pretty good movie for it's genre and I'm sure vastly better than the American remake will be if (when?) it comes out!
April 20, 2011
A sensational and dynamic action-thriller. A dark, dangerous and unrelentingly satisfying revenge movie that packs a wallop. It's stylish, riveting and extremely powerful and emotionally gripping. A deeply moving and explosive thrill-ride. It's Taken meets The Professional with the edge of Man On Fire. One unstoppable and unforgettable movie. The film delivers some well-done action sequences including a fantastic knife fight, which is one of the best scenes in the film and one of the best crafted action sequences this year. This movie grabs you and never lets go until the very end. It's heart-wrenching, devastating and action-packed. Won Bin is one the the next great Asian action stars and delivers an outstanding performance. This film rocks and kicks all kind of ass. An exhilarating and adrenaline-charged action ride.
April 13, 2011
"Even if I find So-mi, you two are still dead."
Pretty cool movie. The Man from Nowhere is a South Korean action-thriller of similar type to Taken or the Bourne flicks. A dangerous man with a mysterious past gets caught up in a conflict with a group of criminals when a lonely young girl he's befriended is taken by them. As he tracks her down we learn about his tragic past and see him put his deadly skills to use against some despicable lowlifes.
The movie isn't perfect, there's a lengthy period before the action starts that perhaps goes on a little too long, and the dialogue (at least, the translated subtitles) is occasionally hammy and unintentionally hilarious. There are also a few too many blatant attempts to pull at the viewer's heartstrings and force you to get emotionally invested in the story. I always find that kind of thing to be a little annoying.
So it's a little derivative and it has some definite pacing problems, but that doesn't stop The Man from Nowhere from being a movie worth checking out. At its best (pretty much the entire last act), it's an intense ride that fans of movies like Taken will thoroughly enjoy. Bin Won is believable and effective in the main role, and the tidy and sure to please ending is a nice bookend for all the carnage.
November 6, 2011
One seriously loooong devil may care..no holds barred...story of an anti-hero who decides to save the little girl whose drug addicted mother steals from the drug mob to support her drug addiction. Putting the little girl's life at stake is one thing that our anti-hero is not going to tolerate...eve if it means for him to go up against the mob and exterminating them all. How he attempts and execute that idea is so worth seeing. Check it out!
August 21, 2011
Korean gangster-turned-pawnboker attempts to save junkie neighbour's kidnapped daughter. Derivative plot but well made all the same. I prefer MAN ON FIRE though
August 30, 2011
The Man from Nowhere was not an original movie, it reminds me of Leon the Professional or Man on Fire, but where it was not necessarily that impressive in its story, it was loaded with great action sequences, very bloody scenes and enough suspenseful moments to provide a strong degree of entertainment to make up for its flaws. Besides the melodrama, there were too many exaggerated gangster characters, which made it kind of confusing who was who.The action itself was quite good, very brutal, bloody and tense, and somehow it remained interesting, despite the fact that Wong Bing;s character was pretty much beating anyone's ass, he came across. Korean actor, Won Bin carried the movie pretty well although his character did not require a lot of acting, except for the fighting scenes. It was not a movie that aimed to show all elements of cinematic storytelling, but it was more concentrated for the action thriller genre. The story was simple and here and there it had its flaws but it held the logically and even provides a few unexpected twists.
April 23, 2011
"The Man from Nowhere" is not exactly unique but it manages to create just the right dark, gloomy mood to match the story, all the characters are believable and the action sequences are very well done with some graphic violent.
If you are looking for a very good action movie THIS MAN won't disappoint you!
March 22, 2013
This film was a pleasant surprise of entertainment value. It keeps momentum by shrouding the protagonist in mystery until you find out more as the story progresses and his motives are unveiled. Interesting characters and highly stylized sequences made this epic.
fb100004905157511March 7, 2013
When it has comes to the extreme revenge film genre, it seems that South Korea has the market cornered. Chan woo-Park's theme based "The Vengeance Trilogy", "The Chaser" (2008) and "I Saw the Devil" (2010), "Vengeance" (2009)-- a steady stream of never ending films--I couldn't be more thankful. "The Man From Nowhere" is a deadly combination of "The Professional" (1994) and "Taken" (2008), and yes--better than both of those films individually.
"The Man from Nowhere" begins by developing the relationship between Cha Tae-sik, played by Bin Won "Mother" (2009), and So-mi, played by up and coming child actress Kim Sae-ron. This friendship developed is the heart of the film, and is efficiently set up in the first 25 minutes, before So-mi is abruptly kidnapped. The rest of the film mainly focuses on Cha's efforts to find her. Having almost nothing to work with, and with the police being more of a hindrance than a help, we learn more about Cha's demons and tragic past as he gets closer to finding So-mi. Won Bin delivers a great performance as a highly-skilled fighter, and equally effective as a very emotionally damaged, vulnerable character.
The more technical aspects of production, cinematography, and action are all extremely well handled. I prefer the style of action in this film to many American films, which tend to use extremely quick cuts, and overdubbed sounds to make their scenes. "The Man from Nowhere" uses slightly slower cuts--and gives a much better sense of space for the viewer, as opposed to a film like "Taken". Much of the action uses gun play which is fairly unusual in Korean films, but effective nonetheless. The action scenes are all tightly choreographed, with nice spatial and visual sensibilities.
A great thriller--a non stop adrenaline rush of emotions, with plenty of action sequences to carry one through its two hour run time. It's not perfect by any means, It does run a little too long, and could easily lose about twenty minutes. And most of that time is a handful of overly melodramatic scenes. But it's hard to be angry with director Jeong-beom Lee because he delivers so well in just about every other way. It's not nearly as brutal or shocking as films like "Oldboy" or "I Saw the Devil", but is a highly polished, exciting, thriller.
fb46103502September 18, 2012
Even among the parade of excellent gritty Korean revenge films, this one stands tall. Even the trailer is a masterpiece.
fb603533584August 25, 2012
We all know the plot. A man who has the only thing he cares about stripped away from him. And in order to get her back he must unearth his past of violence and destruction. It's been done quite a few times. However, Jeong-beom Lee's simply entertaining execution allows "The Man From Nowhere" to pack such a wallop that we forget any kind of generic formula we may have discovered along the way.
A retired special forces agent is living on his own and he comes across a young girl. The two of them form a friendship with one another, until the girl is kidnapped. Now the retired agent must go back to work one more time.
As stated before, the film's quality doesn't come in its plot which some might find crudely repetitious, but in its own execution. Lee is able to create such an entertaining feel to the film. Handled with some excellent cinematography, and an intriguing soundtrack, the movie is able to excel far beyond its intial capabilities. Bin Won does a particularly good job acting wise, as well as the rest of the cast.
The fight coordination, in my opinion, was absolutely fantastic. Thanks to the wonderful visuals, the fight sequences seemed big and loud. The heavy violence only further emphasized the objective of the retired agent for me.
Another brilliancy of the film comes in the subtelty of the characters. Simple angles of Won and Kim Sae-ron sitting in a dark hallway, and the only light conveyed to the audience is the natural light peering trough a window. The characters speak to each other softly, but with such conviction. It's these subtle moments that allow us to feel for Won throughout the movie's duration.
On paper "The Man From Nowhere" seems like something that you would get out of Hollywood maybe at least two times per year, but Jeong-beom Lee is able to provide a South Korean aspect to the production that allows the audience to become enthralled with the film's content. It may not have been completely original, but this film was certainly entertaining; not only for it's astounding visuals, but for the simple moments of human emotion that are displayed on screen so well.
August 14, 2012
Amazing Korean take on Man on Fire. The plot is a hybrid of Leon The Professional, Man on Fire and Taken. The action is fast paced and the relationship between Tae-shik and So-mi is genuine and heartfelt. Bin Won is amazing as the man driven to far and seeking to protect his young neighbor. One of the best movies I have seen in a long time.
fb67801456July 30, 2012
Smart and stylized thriller (practically synonymous with the words "Korean film" at this point) that is damn entertaining. Does have the tendency to get a little melodramatic at times, but otherwise, action films don't get much better than this.
April 28, 2012
Never really seen a Korean action film until I saw this. There was some scenes that took long quiet and seemed to be trying hard to have an intense moment but it was good.