Best of Prime Video: ‘The Man from Nowhere’ review

Bad to The Bone: 'The Man from Nowhere's protagonist Cha Tae-sik inspects a handgun for future use. Pictured is Won Bin, who portrays Cha Tae-sik with perfection.

One of the best films I have ever seen is available on Amazon Prime.

“The Man from Nowhere” is a masterpiece. A foreign film, specifically from South Korea, and written and directed by Lee Jeong-beom, tells the story of a man (Won Bin) looking for revenge after his young neighbor (Sae-ron Kim) is kidnapped by a group of criminals who are part of a large organization.

The premise does sound all too familiar, but it is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best movie of that premise, surpassing others by miles.

The first thing to praise is the acting. Won Bin’s Cha Tae-sik is a mysterious and likable protagonist that you can instantly get intrigued by, and it is furthered the more he gets fleshed out. Won Bin does it perfectly, he, and his character, embodies that silent lone wanderer perfectly. The film also features the best performance from a child actor I have ever seen, and that can be found in Kim Sae-ron’s So-Mi, the child Cha Tae-sik is tasked with saving. They are joined by a phenomenal cast, all playing their parts excellently, and elevated by excellent writing.

The writing and execution of this film has to be praised. While it could be seen as an action film, there really isn’t an overbearing amount, and in other films with weaker stories that may be a problem, it isn’t the case in this one. The story is a gripping slow burn thriller, and builds up to an incredibly satisfying and cathartic conclusion. The action is carefully placed, and used at just at the right moments. The action itself is also some of the best I have ever seen, and it honestly might even surpass the “John Wick” and “The Raid” series as some of the best choreographed action in film I have certainly seen.

Another part of  what makes this film so different and so good is the sincerity it has. This film definitely has a soul to it, and it is hard to express why. While most thrillers with dark subjects like this have a constant tone of sadness, there are moments of levity that are just done so well that genuinely make you smile, lead by Tae-hoon Kim’s Detective Kim Chi-go and his band of buffoon policemen. The sountrack adds to this air of sincerity aswell, composed by Hyun-jung Shim. It is a vital piece of this film, and it wouldn’t be as great without it.

The only problem I could see somebody having with this film is the pace. While it is valid, I think the film is suited for it. The ever-increasing intensity needed a good buildup, and it makes the ending even more rewarding when it comes.

“The Man from Nowhere” is unmistakably a triumphant film. It has so much sheer emotion and sincerity, and that is what makes it so special. For anyone looking for an awesome movie, and certainly anyone with an Amazon Prime membership, “The Man from Nowhere” is a must watch.