Release Date: 05th August 2010 (South Korea)
Running Time: 119 mins.
Director: Lee Jeong-beom
Writer: Lee Jeong-beom
Starring: Won Bin, Kim Sae-ron, Kim Hee-won, Kim Sung-oh, Kim Tae-hun, Lee Jong-I, Thanayong Wongtrakul, Kim Hyo-seo
The Man from Nowhere is a film I picked after getting it confused with Nowhere to Hide directed by Lee Myung-se (Duelist). What I got was a formulaic but decent action film.
Detective Kim Chi-gun’s (Kim Tae-hun) team are at the end of a two month stakeout of a nightclub where a drug deal is about to take place. That deal does not take place because a club dancer named Hyo-jeong (Kim Hyo-seo) steals the drugs. This is a major mistake because they are connected to a Chinese mafia organisation led by brothers Man-sik (Kim Hee-won) and Jong-suk (Kim Sung-oh). Hyo-jeong hides the drugs by placing them in a camera bag and taking the bag to a pawn shop owned by Cha Tae-sik (Won Bin), a mysterious man known only as “ajusshi (mister)”. He keeps to himself apart from his relationship with a young girl named So-mi (Kim Sae-ron), daughter of Hyo-jeong. So-mi regards Cha Tae-sik as a friend since kids make fun of her for being poor and her mother regards her as “garbage”. When the Chinese mafia come looking for their drugs they kidnap Hyo-jeong and So-mi to force Cha Tae-sik to hand over the goods. This is a bad idea because this mysterious man is far more dangerous than he seems and he sets off to rescue So-mi which means he will have to take out the gangsters while avoiding the police.
One look at the story will tell you that original is the last thing this film is. Arguably the audience for this will not be bothered by the lack of originality as they are in this for the action and cool/amusing characters who do not need to be analysed too deeply and we get these elements in abundance all captured with crisp cinematography.
The situations become a bit complicated
The film’s strongest point is the acting, particularly the interaction between So-mi (Kim Sae-ron) and Cha Tae-sik (Won Bin).