Won Bin – Tae Shik (태식)
Kim Sae Ron – So Mi (소미)
Kim Hee Won – Man Seok (만석)
Kim Seong Ah- Jong Seok (종석)
Tae Shik is a mysterious, quiet man who keeps pretty much to himself. He owns a small pawnshop in a dubious part of the town. His neighbour, a nightclub, drug addict singer is wary of him, suspecting him of being a paedophile. She constantly warns him to stay away from her daughter. Yet, her daughter, So Mi is drawn to Tae Shik. The unfriendly Mister is the only one who shows anycare and concern for her.
One day, So Mi’s mother stole some drugs from a gang. From then on, it was one big nightmare , as the gangsters exploit every means and ways to recover the packet of drugs, including kidnapping So Mi. Soon, both the gangsters and the police realised that Tae Shik is no ordinary person as he displays tremendous prowess in overcoming both parties. He is actually an ex intelligence officer who is trained to kill.
But now So Mi is in danger of being killed. Would Tae Shik be able to save her in time?
Won Bin has chosen to act in two very different movies since he was discharged from the army in 2009. His first comeback movie ‘Mother ‘ where he acted as a dull witted son, wrongly accused of murder drew rave reviews. In ‘The Man from Nowhere‘ or ‘Mister‘, he is lean, mean and angry, with the ability to kill effortlessly. I wrote in my review of Kwon Sang Woo’s ‘Running Wild‘ that all most Korean actors seemed determind to move beyond the label of ‘pretty boys’ and be considered a real actor. To do this, one must act in a action packed, high body count movie. So there is the usual must-have elements in this movie:
1) able to fight off a group of 6 men and more with no problem- checked
2) ablt to hold guns in both hands and shoot at the same time- checked
3) cool, silent type- checked
4) high body count- checked
5) lots of blood everywhere- checked
What made this movie beyond just watchable and should watch is Won Bin and the interaction between Tae Shil and So Mi. The fact that Won Bin could hold my attention for 2 hours says alot about his acting. He has certainly come a long way since the ‘Autumn in my Heart‘ days. The scene that particularly impressed me was when he witnessed his wife being killed. The look of anguish and despair was heart breaking. Strangely enough, it was in an earlier scene with his wife that his Autumn days came back fleetingly.
I have always been amazed by the talents of the Korean children artistes. Sometimes, they are even better than their adult counterparts. Kim Sae Ron as So Mi was has that childlike naivety and maturity at the same time that is not easy to portray.
However, it is the interaction between So Mi and Tae Shik that is that cements the whole show. Both are outcasts (one willingly and the other unwillingly). Both desire love and concern. The friendship between the two was quietly strong, though both did not want to admit nor perhaps realised it till So Mi got kidnapped.
There were two other characters in the show that caught my eye. Or rather two villians.
Ramrowan is the henchman of the gangster group who kidnapped So Mi and her mother. Like Won Bin’s Tae Shik, this man is a fighting machine. Yet, in the end, it was he who saved So Mi. Now what I didn’t understand in the movie was….if he had saved So Mi (which obviously showed that he isn’t a heartless man), why then did he have to fight with Tae Shik till the end? To see who is better at fighting? Hmm…
The other was the neurotic younger brother of the gangster group- Jong Seok. This guy really stands out as one mad, bad guy.
Frankly speaking, I still don’t understand why the police is bent on capturing Tae Shik right from the start, even after they found that he is an ex-intelligence man and probably has nothing to do with gangsters and drug. Of course, after he went on a killing rampage, it was understandable, but surely not before that.
Also be warned that there’s lots of blood and gory in the movie and some scenes are rather disturbing.
Besides Won Bin’s good acting, you can also drool over his body…^^
‘Man from Nowhere‘ was one of the highest grossing movie in 2010, attracting over 6 million viewers. It also won awards in the various movie awards including Best Actor in Korea Film Awards and the Box Office Award in the Blue Dragon Film Awards 10.
Judging from the other local reviews, I believe ‘The Man from Nowhere’ impressed them too. The movie is now showing at Cathay. Do catch the movie before it ends its run.^^
Win movie premiums of ‘Man from Nowhere‘ courtesy of Festive Films. Click here for more details.