City Paper is not for tourists
There’s a scene about two-thirds of the way through this bloody, messy revenge tale in which the hero, Tae-shik, a silent but deadly cipher, pursues a henchman out of a second-story window. Rather than cut to a ground-level shot, the camera falls with him. It’s just one moment in an exhausting pile of gruesome knife fights and extended chases, but it’s a novel bit of movie violence. Still, The Man From Nowhere is a long-distance cousin of those annual Hollywood slogs in which a man with a haunted past—usually Liam Neeson—rescues a young girl by killing his way through a coterie of drug dealers, gangsters, and/or dirty cops. That Won Bin, the actor playing Tae-shik, won critical praise for his dramatic turn in 2009’s Mother is irrelevant; all he needs to do here is stand tough, find the kidnapped girl, and waste every motherfucker who gets in the way. A man with nothing to lose is dangerous in any language; torture-porn fatigue is universal, too.
At 2 p.m.; also on Monday, April 11 at 8:45 p.m. Both showings at E Street Cinema.