Actors: Jang Dong-gun, Brian Tee
Director: Kim Jung-beom
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
Number of discs: 1
Studio: CJ Entertainment America
Release Date: February 17, 2015
Run Time: 116 minutes
From the director of The Man From Nowhere comes another story involving a regret-filled professional killer utilizing his skills to protect the innocent.
seems to be flooded with this
particular narrative, with stylistic choices being the element which separates
the mediocre from the great. Although No
Tears for the Dead is mostly forgettable, there are sequences within the
generic storyline which make all of the rest worthwhile. South
The film follows a professional Korean hit-man named Gon (Jang Dong-gun), who was raised by an American mafia syndicate to become the best at what he does. When he accidentally kills a young child during one of his assignments, Gon begins to question his entire existence. This is only furthered by his latest assignment; to travel home to
in a mission to kill the mother of the
young girl accidentally killed. Unable to complete this task, Gon finds himself
forced to either find a way to kill Mo-kyeong (Kim Min-hee) or make the
decision to protect her from the assassins which will follow him. South
As a director, Lee Jeong-beom embraces the carefully constructed action sequences effortlessly. There is impressive gunplay, hand-to-hand combat, and some rather brutal knife-play as well. All of this is expertly handled, but I couldn’t help but wish that Lee’s screenplay were as exciting as his action sequences. The problem doesn’t come from the simplicity of the story, because that worked rather well in The Man from Nowhere.
The real problem comes from a lack of engaging characters, mostly because we never know enough about them to truly care. The ‘hit-man with a conscience’ has become more of a caricature than the ‘hooker with a heart of gold’ in South Korean cinema. At the very least, we need to be given a unique reason to care about Gon, but he ends up indistinguishable from dozens of other movies about professional killers.
The Blu-ray release includes a making-of featurette and a commentary track with Lee. There are moments within the film that the high definition presentation is noticeable, but this package is far more impressive for the 5.1 digital surround sound. The action is impressive because of this sound, combined with the choreography and editing. The cinematography is decent, but usually the action is too fast-paced for it to be admired.
Entertainment Value: 7.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10
Historical Significance: 6/10
Special Features: 6.5/10