Cha Tae Shik is a quiet pawnshop keeper in a rundown neighborhood who has formed quite a unique friendship with his next-door neighbor Jeong So Mi. She is a young child who’s the daughter of Kim Yeon Soo, a pub dancer and drug junkie.
One day, Yeon Soo got caught up in a drug ruse with some powerful gangsters, which resulted in getting herself kidnapped along with her daughter. Unexpectedly Tae Shik became involved and this is when he started the manhunt to save little So Mi from her abductors.
Words From Me:
Initially, I wanted to watch Ip Man rather than this movie, but then my male cousin was insisting on watching this film because he has already started it and kept talking about how awesome it was. I had no idea what I was getting myself into until I started watching it.
So here are the things I learned about “The Man from Nowhere”:
It was a highly acclaimed film back in 2010-2011.
Won Bin acted as the main character.
The young female actress was Kim Sae Ron.
These names are pretty much known in the Korean entertainment industry up to this day and I can’t believe I missed this film back then. I’ve seen several posters as a reference to this movie in different dramas which states that it was an epic accomplishment for any filmmaker.
But ‘nuff said about that.
What made me like this movie (aside from Won Bin) was how it was action packed and yet emotional. Doesn’t matter that the theme was similar to several old films i.e. Leon – The Professional, which starred Natalie Portman when she was still a young kid. It wasn’t exactly about the story line or the theme. It was more about the character execution of the actors. The young Kim Sae Ron as Jeong So Mi was such an endearing character for so many reasons. On the other hand, Won Bin as Ahjussi absorbed her quirkiness. This emotional exchange goes both ways though, as his character was such an eccentric and aloof person but despite that, So Mi was able to love him as he is, like that of a daughter, while Ahjussi loved her all the same as a father. Their screen time together was so palpable it clenched my heart to watch them all throughout the film.
Then there’s also those supporting characters acted by Kim Hee Won and Kim Sung Oh (oh how I freaking love this guy!!! I always love watching him act regardless if he’s a main character or a supporting one). These pair are the kind of people you would want to bury alive. I was gritting my teeth while watching them, they looked like a bunch of fools but they are both street smart and had evil souls. They work so well as the villains. I sooooo love to hate them. Then, put in the thailander Wongtrakul Thanayong as Ramrowan in the mix, the antagonist circle is complete. The guy is such a charismatic assassin, I like him so much because his character is someone who is in for the fight and not exactly for the killing.
On the other aspects of the film, the cinematography and awesome action scenes was spot on and never felt redundant. The heart racing scenes weren’t overwhelming. They were shown with perfect timing which was one of the best things an action film can do. It doesn’t seem tiring to watch. Even though some of the scenes were visually disturbing, I still felt like asking for more because I was looking forward to justice at the end of it all.
For a film with a storyline that centralized about drugs, human trafficking and gangs… it seemed impossible to put in an emotional aspect in all of the chaos happening, but no. The Man from Nowhere is different because it was able to pull in the audience (like me!) in an emotional wreck. I also admire the transition of the main character from his past character to his present and then back again, it made him seem more… human. And then insert the back ground music, things couldn’t be more perfect.
One thing I try not to think too much about is associating Cha Tae Shik to the character of Robert McCall which Denzel Washington portrayed in the movie “Equalizer”. Both characters were fearless and mind-blowing-badass that they are so freaking similar. I don’t want to talk too much about their similarities hence the spoiler. You must check both movies to see the resemblance of characters for yourself. I will probably re-watch this in the near future, but as of now, I will meditate in the memory of such an astounding film.
Highly recommending this to all action-buffs out there.