Films-U-Missed: 2010’s Korean film ‘Ajeossi’ aka ‘The Man From Nowhere’
What happens when a quiet pawnshop owner takes a liking to a young girl who is a frequent visitor of his establishment? In a nutshell – all sorts of shit. Cha Tae-Shik has a mysterious past as a man who supposedly takes girls behind close doors unnecessarily to perform acts of “who knows what.” So-mi is the curious precocious type who visits Cha Tae-Shik. In a world where the drug-trafficking underbelly uses children to not only perform drug runs but then kills them and sells their bodyparts to the highest bidder, that’s the “all sorts of shit” I partially referenced. The Man From Nowhere leads somewhere.
It’s revealed that Cha Tae-Shik has some serious survivalist and kick-ass skills, as a former CIA agent who pretty much makes ‘The Rock’ look like a pussy. Part Bruce Lee, part Steven Seagal and almost a part of Neo from The Matrix, when Tae-Shik takes a liking to So-mi and discovers that she is in danger (aka kidnapped), he will do whatever he can to save her. That “whatever” entails figuring out a drug-ring, busting balls on baddies and trying to find her (hopefully before it’s too late), all while he’s dodging and fighting the cops for other crimes against humanity. Tae-Shik is stuck between a rock and a hard place far too often.
‘The Man From Nowhere’ Is a Stellar Film With Top-Notch Storytelling, Action and Presentation
The Man From Nowhere reveals that Tae-Shik is indeed from somewhere. His past is detailed and tragic, revealed in flashbacks. I’ll leave that for all of you who will no doubt be seeing this film soon. Nowhere is continually exciting, has a great level of suspense, a very slick and compelling presentation, as well as an interesting twist to its conclusion. Director Jeong-beom Lee does a great job keeping everything in order, though there is the occasional over the top character, common to the genre in Asian films, which borders on taking you out of the procedures on occasion. Alas, it’s a small price to pay in an otherwise very good film.
Being a Korean film, Nowhere may instantly warrant comparisons to another fantastic Korean film, Oldboy. While the country of origin may be the same and the style and look do have some crossovers, the overall films are very different. That being said, 2010′s Nowhere is a very worthy film in its own right, with a distinct – at times enthralling – appearance and a thoughtful, engaging storyline. The Man From Nowhere should find its way to your TV set sometime soon. You’ll be entertained and thankful I helped lead you there.