Friday, June 10, 2011

The Man From Nowhere [2010]

The child of a pawnbroker’s neighbor is kidnapped by the local gangsters – and he’s pulled into a drug drama between the cops and the gangsters. Good thing he’s got the skills to deal with it.

This is a nice little revenge film that’s very reminiscent to Leon: The Professional, Man on Fire and Taken. Unfortunately, for this film – it takes a more subdued approach than those films which are more over-the-top – and though The Man From Nowhere attempts the over-the-top style in parts – it doesn’t quite abuse them to the point that it should.

The characters are cartoonishly outlandish – I think they were my favorite part of the film. The hairstyles and personality traits to all the characters were very bold – and over-the-top – it was great! I felt like with the way they were shot – that I was watching an anime – though (thankfully) it wasn’t shot like an overly-caffeinated headache-inducing anime.

The fact that the characters were so very outlandish – but the action did not follow that nature was what I kind of found disappointing. Some of what could’ve been defining action was off camera – where you saw a window crash – or just saw bodies on the ground – and you were left with the discovery of what happened – made the film feel slow.
There were a couple of great knife sequences – and a knife fight that was quite amazing – but the fact is; they were knives. Knives are hard to follow action-wise when they are as short as they are.

For a hard hitting epic revenge ending – yes – this one deserves to be on that list I made last month. It was improbable as all get out – but that’s what you want! The ending showed what was possible the entire film – but I guess it could be argued the film was building to it – and didn’t want to expend energy in the build-up – but you’ve got to keep us interested as an audience.

The film concentrated too much on the police – who are important characters – but not as important as the Pawnbroker and the Gangsters. I’m not saying they dominated the film – but some of their sequences were unnecessary – 15 minutes could’ve been trimmed of their story and made a tighter film that would’ve felt more action packed.
The cops spent time concocting a plan to discover the true identity of the Pawnbroker – when as an audience – for the past 20 years – we have been trained to know that this Pawnbroker is actually an ex-special-something-guy... It’s wasted time discovering what the Pawnbroker used to be – but discovering the reason why he cares so much – that’s interesting – but it was ultimately answered by the Pawnbroker – so the cops side stories were unnecessary.

I do appreciate that the directing was more subtle – and it portrays more of the sad story of the Pawnbroker – and even though I WANTED it to be over-the-top (and if you make note of my critics they are mostly based on what I WANTED not what the FILM ACTUALLY IS) – I need to get over it and admit – it’s a pretty damn good film – and when I go back and watch it with a different mindset – I will be in a better place to fully appreciate it for what it is.

I recommend it – for what it is – it’s a plot hole riddled, hard hitting, fun revenge film.

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