Owen Hughes’s review published on Letterboxd:
I really enjoyed The Man From Nowhere. I can see why it draws the comparison to other revenge thrillers such as Taken, Oldboy etc, but to me it has an identity away from those others it shares a genre with. It's like discovering a new and exciting rock 'n roll band. You may have thought you'd heard it all before, but then one day something different crosses your path and pleasantly surprises you.
It helps that this film has such a charismatic lead. Bin Won reminded me of Keanu Reeves (not the most obvious choice for "charismatic lead", I know, but bear with me) in that he seems to be not doing or saying an awful lot, but carries a presence throughout the movie. Just a slight shift in his stance or a glance over his shoulder, it seems to say an awful lot more than if he'd opened his mouth.
As far as the actual story goes, it's pretty standard really. I mean, the main character is depressed, he lives a fairly solitary existence apart from this young girl who lives in his apartment block. He gets involved with their families problems, which as it turns out is bad for the gang as he's a one-man wrecking machine, but it's the way everything seems to be executed that seems to be different. It's not just one man shouting down the bad guys, constantly firing bullets at them, hunting them all down. It's a bit more sophisticated than that.
Although saying that, I am now remembering that final attack scene... That was pretty gruesome and exhilarating at the same time. I'm just remembering a certain scene with a truck too which was so very, very cold and sad. Really brutal stuff.
My main criticism would be that it does feel like a film that's slightly too long. You know with a film such as Taken that it's 90 minutes in, out, mission accomplished. Here, there's a slower more relaxed pace about the whole thing which hampers the more tense moments but then other times works really well.
I think to anyone with even a passing interest in action films or thrillers of this type, then I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's really very enjoyable indeed.