The Man from Nowhere
Note to action directors:
Sometimes the best movies are those with a really basic plot, plenty of good old fashioned action, and suitably fleshed out by good chemistry and good actors.
This movie does not add anything new to the genre. It's a movie about a single-minded attempt of a man to rescue the little girl, who is the survivor of a drug addict mother who steals drugs from a syndicate and the main man has to find her before they kill and harvest her organs. He will do, maim, kill and do whatever it take to find her. You will have seen iterations of this in various forms in recent hits like "Man on Fire", "Taken", "Chaser" etc...
But the little girl in the show outshines Dakota Fanning, and pulls at your heartstrings, and Won Bin makes a fine determined killing machine. He shoots, slices and blows up half of the drug underworld as he battles to find the girl, as he moves from post traumatic sad puppy face into the trained special operative, bent on rescue and revenge. There is good chemistry between the lead and the child and this propels the movie from forgettable to a decent watch.
But of course we didn't come to watch this for dramatic moments and the movie does not disappoint with almost non-stop violence and plenty of blood-letting. The action sequences are brilliantly executed, and the final knife battle will put Bourne to shame. And thank God for no shaky cameras!
The picture quality is suitably dark and gritty, but very sharp and worthy of this 2011 movie. The sound will leave you with a smile, as the surrounds get a good workout and are actively used to provide ambience, and the LFE lets rips in the club scene and during the garbage truck scene. It is very effectively used.
Should you avoid, rent or buy?
Well not everyone is a fan of foul-mouthed Korean action shows, but I think this one is worth a rental at least and I am keeping mine.