The Man From Nowhere / Ahjussi
On the scale of revenge films, The Man From Nowhere rates high on the intensity/gore, but also surprisingly high on the scale for heart/warmth. Instead of your usual bloodfest where no one wins, this movie gives you a satisfactory ending without leaving you hollowed out. Tae-Sik, a jaded ex-government operative, lives secluded from the world after a tragic event took his wife/unborn child away. He hides away from the world, except for talking to one precocious child named So-mi. Brought up by a druggie mother, So-mi finds comfort in Tae-Sik presence, treating him as if he was her own father. After her mother involves herself in a drug syndicate scheme and gets herself killed and So-mi is kidnapped, it is up to Tae-Sik to rescue the only thing that he had deemed worth living for.
Single-mindedly, he transforms into the brilliant operative he once was and uses his skill set to track down the little girl. The drug syndicate didn’t know what hit them as he takes apart their operations piece by piece. He is sickened to find out just how deeply these people were willing to go to make money. This includes dealing in organ harvesting and the use of children in cocaine manufacturing. Even in the midst of such horror, So-mi touches the heart of the darkest souls, giving her a chance to survive until Tae-Sik arrives. Will Tae-Sik be able to recover the only person he truly cares about or will he abandon humanity again?
- I enjoy the flip flop of emotions that the movie brings. From such sweetness between Tae-Sik and his almost adoptive daughter So-mi to the pulse-pounding thrill as Tae-Sik tears the drug syndicate apart with his bare hands.
- The action scenes in the film are unparalleled and are everything I want in a movie about ex-operatives. Even though Tae-Sik acted mostly in silence for the whole movie, he exudes absolute control in all his moves.
- So-mi moves the heart of ahjussis, not matter how bad! Even though her eyes were about to be carved out and harvested, she managed to touch the heart of the hardened second in command. As a result, he carved the eyes out of the surgeon instead as substitute.
- Tae-Sik cries for So-Mi in the midst of fighting when he holds the container with what appears to be “So-Mi’s eyes”. To express such a soft emotion shows that his soul is not lost yet, even when it seems that all is lost.
- Last one standing. The most memorable moment for me is when Tae-Sik sits on top of the car and fires repeatedly into the windshield. Even though the windshield is supposed to be bulletproof, Tae-sik cracks it enough for that last bullet to go through and kill the main villain.
- Tae-Sik finally smiles at the end.