An ex-special agent, Cha Tae-shik’s runs a pawnshop in a complex where a little girl named So-mi lives with her mother. The two have a silent friendship and the girl sees him as her only friend. Her mother, Hyo-jeong smuggles drugs from a drug trafficking organization and entrusts Tae-shik with the product, without letting him know. The traffickers find out and kidnap both Hyo-jeong and So-mi. The gang promises to release them if Tae-shik makes a delivery for them, however, it’s actually a double cross to eliminate him and the rival gang boss.
When Tae Shik finds out he sets out on a one-man mission to save the girl and find redemption from his tragic past but the police too are on his tail.
The Man From Nowhere has been praised as one of the finest action drama’s to come out of Korea in recent times and its hard to argue. The plot may have been done a thousand times before, Taken and Leon spring to mind, but the film moves at such a breakneck pace and you find yourself rooting for him to succeed against all the odds. Won Bin is excellent as the silent shop owner who only wants to forget his past. But when he does go into action no-one will stand in his way. The little girl is also excellent for giving Cha Tae Shik something to live for and there are some very touching scenes between the two.
The action in The Man From Nowhere is very hardcore and bloody, it certainly deserves its 18 certificate. The fights and gunplay are more Steven Seagal than Jackie Chan, short sharp and to the point, the knife fight scene at the climax is brilliantly done with him taking out the gang with no-nonsense precision. See this movie and find out that Korean action cinema is still alive and kicking!
The UK DVD by EOne is ok if nothing special. It has the usual anamorphic widescreen presentation (PAL) nothing to complain about as the picture is very good. The sound gives you Dolby Digital 5.1 in Korean language with optional English subtitles. The sound is mixed well with some great surround effects, especially during the action and chase scenes. Extras are just a trailer, very disappointing. Also disappointing is no UK Blu ray release.
The film has been released on Blu Ray in Korea and the USA and both are superb quality and region free.
FILM: 8.5 OUT OF 10