There are literally endless amounts of movies uploaded to Netflix. Some good, a lot bad. If you find yourself continuously scrolling through the abyss, I thought it would help if I started posts with some great recommendations. Of course everyone is probably aware of the bigger movies on Netflix like Rambo or Zoolander. These posts are more about unknown movies that you might not be aware of. Let's get things started with a relatively unheard of Korean flick called The Man From Nowhere.
I watched this movie after a friend, who is a big martial arts fan, recommended it. He told me that it was pretty out there as far as standard action movies go. He was right as the movie is very different, but that is a good thing. The film takes a familiar plot and lets it unfold in a incredibly unique and stylized fashion. The story is about a quiet pawnshop owner in the slums. The pawnshop owner forms a connection with the little girl who lives in his building, who is kidnapped by drug dealers after a deal goes sour with her mother. It is then revealed that pawnshop is an ex-special agent, and starts down a path of vengeance and violence to rescue the little girl.
We've seen this story in countless movies like Taken and The Professional, but director/writer Jeong-beom Lee does a fantastic job of adding a dose of originality. The movie has excellent pacing, and isn't bogged down with countless bloated action scenes like the Taken franchise. The characters have real time here to develop. By the end of the story the audience is totally invested, and its thanks to a well shaped script that gives the actors room to breathe. The actors do a fine job of bringing Lee's vision to life, especially Sae-ron Kim who plays the little girl. She does an unbelievable job emoting, bringing such realistic intensity to the scenes that it's almost hard to believe you're not watching some twisted documentary.
Like the pacing, the action scenes are handled with a good deal of ingenuity. Let me make something clear here, this isn't an endless barrage of action scenes so if you go into this expecting John Wick it might leave you disappointed. I would classify this as a thriller first, and action movie second. The martial arts fights are far and between but when they hit they really hit. The ending fight scene is absolutely breathtaking, with some wonderful choreography. Again, the reason why they land so well is because the characters are allowed time to connect with the audience, so by the time the punches start coming we are interested in the outcome.
The Man From Nowhere might not be for everyone. It is very violent, and tackles some depressing subject matter like drug addiction, child slavery and organ trafficking. However it is a solidly constructed film, and should be watched by anyone who is a fan of martial arts and fantastic thrillers. Highly recommended.
Best Fight Scene (Spoilerish)
Recommended if you enjoyed The Professional, Taken, John Wick
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