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Film: The Man From Nowhere
Should've left me alone.

The Man from Nowhere, also known as Ajeossi, is a South Korean action film that opened in August 4, 2010. It centers around an ex-Army Intelligence Command operator turned quiet pawnshop owner named Cha Tae-Sik, who is unexpectedly flung into a conflict between the Korean Mafia and South Korean narcotics detectives. However, Cha later takes things personally when a child he knows becomes embroiled in the conflict.


This movie provides examples of:

  • Bad Boss: Mr. Oh. His first scene shows him beating Man-Seok for losing his product. When he learns that the police are surrounding the golf course, he tells none of his mooks and leaves them to stall the cops as he escapes.
    • Man-Seok counts too, since he has Bear murdered as a fall guy, and beats a wounded mook for not loading money fast enough.
  • Badass: Tae-Sik, hands down.
  • Badass Boast: Tae-Sik
    You guys only live for tomorrow, don't you? You don't stand a chance against a guy living for today. I only live for today. I will show you how fucked up it's going to be.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: For the first half of the film, most of Tae-Sik's fights is offscreen, his first onscreen fight is between him and Ramrowan.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Tae-Sik doesn't talk much, but you'd better listen when he does.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Oh looks like this. Subverted.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Mr. Oh. the Seok brothers masterfully set him up for a fall after he beats Man-Seok.
  • Bishōnen: Tae-Sik at the beginning of the film. Jong-Seok also counts.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The drug and organ traffickers are dead and gone, and So-Mi was alive after all, but it's heavily implied that Tae-Sik's killing spree is going to end up in him spending time in jail.
  • Blood Knight: Ramrowan.
  • Boom Head Shot: Done twice, both by Tae-Sik.
  • Bullets Do Not Work That Way: Near the end, Tae-Sik shoots at Man-Seok's car's bulletproof glass repeatedly at the same spot. The glass starts to crack but the bullets are no where to be seen.
  • Camp Straight: Jong-Seok.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • So-Mi's nail paintings allow the audience to identify a harvested body as one of the children who was just "sent home", showing how evil the villains are.
    • The knife Tae-Sik grabs from the mook accompanying Bear lets him cut through the mesh net and chase Mr. Oh.
    • The cell-phone Man-Seok gives Tae-Sik leads him right into a mob nightclub.
    • Ramrowan executes Mr. Oh while he's offering him money from his meth operation. This seems innocuous, but later in the film Tae-Sik stumbles upon a meth lab run by Jong-Seok.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tae-Sik has no qualms about using his gun to thin out the opponents, use effective disabling moves or even biting to get things done quicker.
  • Covers Always Lie: Most of the posters show a gun-wielding Tae-Sik with So-Mi standing behind/ next to him. This never happens in the movie.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Tae-Sik. He watched his pregnant wife get murdered in front of his eyes while he was still a Special Force agent.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The lead detective at the beginning. He takes out Bear single-handedly, despite being half his size, and has witty remarks for every occasion. He is still an important character, but after Tae-Sik's introduction turns into an Inspector Javert.
  • Dysfunctional Family: So-Mi's family. Her mother is a dancer at a night club and a drug addict. So-Mi spends most of the time by herself and sometimes steals to get money.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Man-Seok.
  • The Dragon: Ramrowan.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Ramrowan has a soft spot for So-Mi, and when "500" puts her under to extract her eyes he turns on him and kills him instead.
  • Eye Scream: Thankfully, we are only shown the preparation and the aftermath of the eye-removal process.
  • Face of a Thug: So-mi thinks that Tae-Sik during their conversation in that he was hiding, because he did something bad.
  • Final First Hug: From Cha Tae-Sik to So-Mi at the very end.
  • Five-Bad Band: Vague, but it works.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Quite frequently used. Most notable is Mr. Oh getting killed by Ramrowan, the harvested body of the kid whose nails were done by So-Mi, and though we see the aftermath, Ramrowan kills "500" by ripping his eyes out.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: Ramrowan; he still fights Tae-Sik to the death, but that was out of their mutual respect as warriors. He saves So-Mi from a horrific fate, though.
  • Heroic BSOD: Tae-Sik suffers this for a moment after he's presented with what he believes are So-Mi's eyes in a tube.
  • Hollywood Healing: Tae-Sik, after taking an almost-fatal gutshot and get the bullet dug out, does not show any sign of the still-healing wound in the final part of the film. Or he's just that Bad Ass.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Man-Seok warns Tae-Sik against hurting his brother Jong-Seok. Tae-Sik responds by shooting at Jong-Seok's leg a few times with a nail gun. Tae-Sik, interestingly, never uses this phrase.
  • Important Haircut: Tae-sik gives himself one about halfway through the film.
  • Inspector Javert: Kim Chi-gon, a detective with the narcotics squad.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted. The first shot of Tae-Sik focuses on his hand with scarred / thickened knuckles (it is later noticed by So-Mi), and in all the fights he refrains from punching people in the face.
  • Karmic Death: If they're evil, odds are they die a very, very appropriate death for their crimes. To note:
    • Mr. Oh, the initial Big Bad, winds up getting his organs harvested in his own meth lab.
    • Jong-Seok dies the most horrifically karmic death in the film. Especially so since he has to watch helplessly as it happens.
    • "500" is killed by Ramrowan and gets his own eyes harvested.
  • Kill 'em All: At least for the villains.
    Tae-sik: Even if I find So-mi... you two are still dead.
  • Knife Nut: Ramrowan and Tae-Sik.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The mook accompanying Bear spikes the drink of a girl to have sex with her. Two scenes later he got stabbed by his own knife and shot down in the restroom after having sex with the girl.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Tae-Sik.
  • Man Bites Man: Used by Tae-Sik against Ramrowan.
  • Manly Tears: Shed by Tae-Sik on a few occasions.
  • Organ Theft: One of the income sources for the bad guys.
  • Papa Wolf: While technically not So-Mi's father, Tae-Sik is practically this. So-Mi views him as something of a surrogate father-figure as well.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Until the abovementioned haircut, at least.
  • Police Are Useless: The only useful thing they did was informing Tae-Sik the location of the ATM where So-Mi withdrawn a large amount of money, as she was being used to transfer money by the Chinese mafia.
  • Pre Asskicking Oneliner: From Tae-Sik no less.
    Tae-Sik: How many cavities do you have?
    Man-seok: What?
    Tae-Sik: I run a pawnshop. I take gold teeth. I'll keep the gold teeth. And I'll chew up everything else!
  • Psycho for Hire: Played around with by Ramrowan. He obviously enjoys his job, but he avoids harming innocent bystanders and children (see his reaction to accidentally killing the drugged girl at the nightclub) if he can help it. He's fine with letting the evil people go about their business, but when he's put in charge of ripping So-Mi's eyes out, he kills the surgeon instead.
  • The Reveal: Tae-Sik is a former operative Army Intelligence Command.
  • Robbing The Mob Bank: So-Mi's mother stole the heroin sample from the mob boss, which kickstarts the whole story.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The movie has elements of Taken, Man on Fire, Drive, The Transporter, and of course, The Professional. That doesn't diminish the merits of the film.
  • Sissy Villain: Jong-Seok is quite...effeminate. That said, he is very clearly heterosexual.
  • Slasher Smile: Jong-Soek always has a sickening grin on his face when he's committing various atrocities.
  • The Starscream: The Man-Seok and his brother betrayed their boss early in the film, later, Ramrowan killed "500".
  • Shirtless Scene: An especially memorable one featuring a very ripped Won Bin cutting his own hair.
  • Super Window Jump: Tae-Sik performs this in a Moment Of Awesome. Watch it here.
  • Tranquil Fury: After his Heroic BSOD Tae-Sik becomes this trope taking out a room full of mooks in a matter of minutes.
  • The Triads and the Tongs: The main villains are Chinese gangsters operating in South Korea.
  • Underestimating Badassery: The Seok Brothers constantly taunt and belittle Tae-Sik. You can guess how that turns out.
  • We Have to Get the Bullet Out: After Tae-Sik gets shot by Ramrowan, his old comrade does this.
  • Worthy Opponent: Ramrowan sees Tae-Sik as this; During the final fight as he watches Tae-Sik butcher all of the other mooks and refuses to shoot him out of respect, instead challenging him to a one on one fight.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Take. Your. Pick.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Several of the villains in the film wind up dead at the hands of another villain.

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alternative title(s): The Man From Nowhere
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