HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Incredibles 2
Big House, The
Night Eats the World, The
War Bus
Back to Berlin
Leave No Trace
They Shall Not Grow Old
Dollman
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Man Who Invented Christmas, The
Tom's Midnight Garden
Lady, Stay Dead
Thieves, The
My Dear Secretary
I Think We're Alone Now
Amazing Colossal Man, The
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
Suzanne
Nae Pasaran!
Kiss of the Dragon
Other Side of the Wind, The
Secret Santa
Wolcott
10.000 Km
Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure
Hitler's Hollywood
Ghost Goes Gear, The
First Purge, The
House of Wax
Mandy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
   
 
  No Tears for the Dead Atone AloneBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Lee Jeong-beom
Stars: Jang Dong-gun, Kim Min-hee, Brian Tee, Kim Hee-won, Kim Jun, Byeon Yo-han, Anthony Dillo, Dana Lee, Rich Ting, Alexander Wraith
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gon (Jang Dong-gun) is a hitman for the Korean Triads and has no qualms about killing anyone his bosses tell him to. But tonight that is all about to change; he sits in a nightclub restaurant and a little girl catches his eye, so he goofs around for her to make her laugh. Then duty calls, and he is brought into a back room to meet with his boss's rivals, a meeting that ends with him quick-drawing his pistol and laying waste to the office, murdering everyone there. Aware that the commotion may have attracted attention, he hears a noise beyond the door and lets a few rounds off at it - but on opening it, he is horrified to discover that same little girl was investigating the sound, to her peril.

Not many films would start with the murder of a child, even in action thrillers looking for an impetus for their plots it can be taboo, but that was the way South Korean director Lee Jeong-beom opted to kick things off in No Tears for the Dead, a title that appeared to be ironic and undercutting the macho culture that results in so many dead bodies in the first place. This was his third film, following on from his international hit The Man from Nowhere, but while there were those who were more than satisfied with what he conjured up, the consensus seemed to be that he had failed to entirely live up to the promise of what had gone before, no matter how accomplished this was in parts.

There was no getting around it, the death of the little girl was simply too miserable an event to get over, and while there was a sense of catharsis in action flicks that the world was being set to rights through violence on the right side of morality, here Gon's remorse at what may have been accidental, but is difficult for anyone to recover from, did not make for an enjoyable experience. That was especially notable when he spent the first half of the movie moping around in a state of shock, and not even the job he was given by the big boss man to right a wrong he didn’t believe really needed that form of terminal treatment was going to lift our anti-hero out of his dejection.

There was a big reason for that, and it was the job took the form of seeking out the mother of the dead girl and, no, not making amends, but shooting the poor woman. There was a McGuffin she had in her possession that would jeopardise the Triads' business opportunities, and therefore she had to be murdered thanks to that rather than being a bereaved parent, but somehow - and this is a real stretch - Gon's overseers believe bumping her off will make him feel a lot better and be back at the top of his game in no time. The mother was Choi Mo-kyeong (Kim Min-hee), who works in the financial district, and she is understandably very upset about her daughter too, far more justifiably than Gon is you would have to say. If he was that bereft over what he had done, you're tempted to think he should have turned himself in.

But if he did that there would be no second half where Lee delivered the bullet ballet we anticipated. Therefore after far too long a wait, No Tears for the Dead transformed from a very sorry for itself wallow in grief into what was more or less Die Hard in Korea, Gon having travelled across the Pacific from his American bosses to his homeland to carry out the hit (again, far-fetched - would it not be more economical to hire a hitman who was already there in that foreign country?). The action in that second hour was impressive, Lee knew what he was doing in that respect, it's just that his story was far too maudlin to bear the weight of what should have been a thrill ride, spending too long weeping over a tragedy and then expecting us to perk up when we were offered the kinetic business we had signed up for. There was skill in this, there was no denying that, but it was hard to enjoy in the form we were served it up, better suited to a dense drama than the shoot 'em up it became. Music by Choi Yong-rock.

Aka: U-neun nam-ja
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 290 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
Alexander Taylor
   

 

Last Updated: