Plot: After having lost his pregnant wife in a tragic accident Cha Tae-sik leads a simple and quiet life as a pawn shop broker, trying to keep everyone around him at a distance. He reluctantly befriends a small girl named So Mi who is a regular at the shop, pawning her own things for money for food for herself and her heroin addicted stripper mom. As Tae-sik spends more and more time with So Mi, he gets attached to her.
But when So Mi's mother steals a multi-billion won worth of heroin package from a group of organ-harvesting criminals, they come looking for her and kidnapp both her and her daughter. Now Tae-sik have to save the little girl and make the people who took her pay.
'The Man From Nowhere' became the biggest hit in South Korea. It took the #1 spot for ticket sales for 5 weeks straight and sold a total of 6.2 million tickets when it finished theatrical run on November 17, 2010.
The movie triumphed at the 2010 Korea Film Awards raking up the most trophies at the annual ceremony including its main star Won Bin who won the prize for best actor.
Director Lee Jeong-Beom started writing the screenplay in January, 2009. The first draft was finished in 3 months. Initially the main character was written as a 60 year old North Korean agent. When Won Bin read the script and said that he want to play the leading role, it was re-written to accommodate his younger age and his background as well.
«Handsomely shot, the film as a whole shines in parts but sputters in others, let down by cartoonish villains and cheesy dialogue. ... Star Won Bin combines his sensitive-looking demeanor and graceful execution of his action scenes into an unusually charismatic screen persona.
«As in his previous film, director Lee seems unable to avoid heavy-handedness, which does give the film a certain level of authenticity, but also robs it of a sense of grace and beauty, leaving the climactic surge of emotion more belabored than it should be.»
Twitch, by Todd Brownsource:
«Writer-director Lee is clearly a student of the heroic bloodshed film and though his picture is arguably a touch longer than it needs to be with a script more convoluted than it needs to be and with certain elements that are a touch overly familiar, his command of character and genre conventions make this the best, most satisfying entry in the genre from any nation since A Bittersweet Life.»
«As revenge thrillers go, “The Man from Nowhere” ranks as one of the best I’ve seen. It is bloody, the bad guys are pretty bad (if a tad too colorful for my tastes), and though the plot progresses as you would expect, it is a well-executed, well-acted, and incredibly satisfying film. »
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