Bin Won’s Defining Role As The Quiet Man
Four out of Five Dangers
(DL) — If Kill Bill had more sophistication and class, if The Professional had a tear-jerker ending – it would be The Man From Nowhere. Bin Won portrays a man’s man in this amazing import.
The story is simple, a man left with nothing enduring his solitude has no interest in caring for anyone but himself. He just so happens to be ex-special forces. Billed as Korea’s top billing film of 2010 and rated R for intense violence and implied gruesome acts, it’s considered an Action-Thriller. It delivers on that promise.
Unique in modern film The Man From Nowhere doesn’t launch into action until the second act. We learn to identify with the characters densely packed into the story. It’s almost midway into the film before the tension blows.
You gotta give to the director, it takes balls to make your audience wait this long. It works. When hell breaks loose the previous pacing of a suspense thriller is gone. It’s all action from here out.
If you can’t tolerate subtitles the film does have an optional English dubbed track. It’s worth viewing a second time to compare the sub-titles to the English spoken interpretation of its original Korean language. While the film is shot in dark stylization the cinematography is ultra modern fitting in with any top studio film in the U.S.
CHA Tae-Shik played by Bin Won portrays a mercilessly solitary man reminiscent of the Man With No Name classic spaghetti westerns of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Tae-Shik grudgingly befriends a neighbors daughter as he tries to mind his own small pawnshop business but when the little girl’s mother has her daughter pawn a camera with drugs she stole from a drug ring, he ends up in the middle of everyone else’s fight.
Tae-Shik soon becomes motivated to rescue or have revenge for the little girl when she is kidnapped by the drug ring which then forces him to make a delivery on the promise to return the little girl.
We learn eventually why Tae-Shik became the man he is. With police watching everything they soon decide they need to capture Tae-Shik. He has a lot going against him but his mysterious background proves more than enough for everyone to handle.
The underbelly of Korea’s modern world becomes the backdrop for close combat fights, chases, and graphic deaths.
The martial arts element is de-emphasized giving everything a more serious and real tone. The close of the story is quite touching as we come down off the action and back into the melodrama of why our hero began his quest in the first place.
Where Leon the Professional had no intentions of making you cry at the end, you’ll have a hard time avoiding it with this one.
Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Writer: Lee Jeong-beom
Starring: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim and Hyo-seo Kim
Run Time: 119 minutes
Release Date: August 4, 2010