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THE MAN FROM NOWHERE
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Lee Jeong-beom

Starring:
Bin Won
Sae-Ron Kim
Hyo-seo Kim

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A quiet man with a "special agent past" has a young girl as his only friend. When said young girl is kidnapped, said quiet man dips deeply back into his ass-kicking roots and goes to great lengths to find her.

Is it good movie?
The makers of Asian cinema have really developed a keen grasp on delivering slam-bang, action-loaded crime dramas. Thankfully, THE MAN FROM NOWHERE IS another shining example. The key to its success is no great secret, yet so many other filmmakers seem to ignore this essential element. I'm talking about emotion. If you can connect on an emotional level with characters in a film, then duh! the experience is going to resonate so much stronger.

Fortunately, writer/director Lee Jeong-beom, backs his administration of emotion with a cool story, kick-ass action, and a magnificent hero in the form of actor, Bin Won. I've always been a big fan of the silent stalwart with a troubled past in films and Mr. Won totally rocks in the role. This dude has gotta be a huge success overseas (yeah, I'm not that up-to-date in terms of Asian cinema, so sue me) because he's got some sweet friggin' moves to go along with his ultra cool charisma.

I really enjoyed how Won's character became almost miraculously mixed up in this crazy cataclysm of crime all because of a little girl. There are so many different forms of bad guys, cops, and investigators that I did sometimes have trouble figuring out who was on what side. Luckily all I really cared about was knowing that I was on Won's side. The best part was, despite all the theatrics that he goes through on his quest to find the girl, it all still seemed believable enough. That connected me with his character even more so, which of course, only heightened the level of enjoyment.

If I had any complaints to make, some of the dialogue came off as a bit cheesy at times. I guess it was an attempt to add some levity to the gritty storyline, but it didn't fit in smoothly with the proceedings. However, perhaps something got lost in the translation of the Korean dialect. I also didn't like how some of the fight sequences ended too quickly through quick cutaways. There was still plenty of action, but some of it happened off screen and I just couldn't understand. I suppose the director was going for some sort of style over substance, but it didn't feel necessary. There is a very cool scene where a daring escape by Won is shown on several security videos that more than makes up for any other footage not shown.

Video / Audio
Video Widescreen 1.85:1

Audio Korean dolby digital with English subtitle or dubbed in English.

The Extras
A Making Of featurette with some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew.

A 5-minute Highlight Reel.

The film's trailers.

Last Call
A quality action flick with a healthy injection of emotion to make the viewing all the more believable and enjoyable. It may have suffered a bit of overkill in terms of characters and a bit of underkill in terms of action sequences, but that didn't take away too much from the total experience. I definitely recommend this bad boy.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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