The Man from Nowhere ★★★★

Goodness, can the South Koreans do no wrong?

This was a great action picture. Actually, I'm not sure it is an action movie per se. There are no car chases, unless one counts a guy running after cars, and there is just one big ka boom which, unlike its Hollywood counterparts, is actually part of the story and not put in just for effect.

It is more a story about an unknown man with superior fighting skills a la Bourne who gets involved with criminals when they kidnap the little girl next door. It's the story that matters, and while there are many fight scenes (fabulous fight scenes I might add), they are all integrally linked to the story. There is nothing superfluous here.

Normally I don't like kids in movies, but this little girl was given a script to match her age and she does a fabulous job. They don't make her say cutesy adult things: she's a kid through and through, and utterly charming because of it.

The lead character (Bin Won) is fabulous as the strong silent type who reluctantly gets involved with a huge criminal ring and the cops out to get them when he sets out to rescue the little girl. What follows is a look into the drug trade and worse, the organ trade. But through it all, your eyes are on him and the extent to which he will go to protect the girl.

There is one fantastic shot that is worth noting, where the lead character jumps out of a window and the camera is behind him the entire way. Pretty cool.

There is nothing revolutionary in this film. It's just a really good ride. It has definitely made my 'best films to watch for entertainment' list (it's not a huge list either) and I will no doubt be watching this one annually, at least.

Part of the Sunday Mornings with Coffee Series

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