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THE MAN FROM NOWHERE

Director: Lee Jeong-beom Year: 2010 Country: Korea Running time: 119 mins Genres & Subjects: Adrenaline, Crime, Thriller

Screenplay: Lee Jeong-beom Producer: Lee Tae-hun Photography: Lee Tae-yoon Editor: Kim Sang-bum Production designer: Yang Hong-sam Costume designer: Jang Ju-hee Music: Shim Hyun-jung In Korean, English and Mandarin, with English subtitles CinemaScope With: Won Bin (Tae-shik), Kim Sae-ron (So-mi), Song Young-chang (Mr Oh), Kim Hee-won (Man-seok), Kim Tae-hoon (Chi-gon), Kim Sung-o (Jong-seok) Festivals: Vancouver 2010

South Korea has yet another dominating presence in the action-thriller stakes. Director Lee Jeong-beom’s second film was the box office king of Korea before knocking out festival audiences worldwide. The title character is a humble, mysterious stranger who goes about his business quietly. His only human connection is with a troubled young girl, whose drugged-up stripper mum has pissed off the local gangsters. Sound familiar? Well, put all your prejudices aside and tighten that seatbelt, as nothing will prepare you for how wildly entertaining and terrifically exciting this ride becomes. The relationships between the protagonist and his opponents are further complicated by a cast of heavies so charismatically compelling that when the unavoidable match-up finally occurs and the screen is crimson, you will surprise yourself by standing up in the cinema and letting out an almighty ‘Hell, yeah’. Yes, it’s that fucking good. — AT