Friday, July 28, 2017

No Tears for the Dead (2014) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 86
Movie Name/Year: No Tears for the Dead (2014)
Tagline: None
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Length: 116 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Dice Film, Musa Productions
Producer: Hyun-ik Baek, Gregory Bishop, Il Cho, Brian Chung, Tae-sung Jeong, Sung-woo Kim, Daniel Sollinger
Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Writer: Jeong-beom Lee
Actors: Dong-gun Jang, Min-hee Kim, Brian Tee, Hee-won Kim, Jun Kim, Edward Bosco, Jennifer Buttell, Yo-han Byeon, Skoti Collins, Alessandro Cuomo, Darell M. Davie, Anthony Dilio, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, Todd Haberkorn, Chris Hackney, Jang In-sub, Kyle Mitchell Johnson, Alex Kabel, Han-na Kang, Dana Lee, Ben Lepley, Sherry Lynn, Matthew Mercer, Amanda Celine Miller, Sung-wuk Min, Minae Noji, Patrick Seitz, Victor Sgroi, Rich Ting, Alexander Wraith

Blurb from Netflix: Distraught over killing an innocent girl, a hit man chooses instead to save the life of his next target -- the dead girl’s mother.

Selina’s Point of View:
The plot of this film reminded me significantly of In Bruges (2008), though it took a much more action-heavy path. It followed a man that felt guilty about accidentally killing a little girl during an assassination job. In Bruges just went down a more dramatic road.

Where the action factor was concerned, the majority of No Tears for the Dead (aka U-neun nam-ja) was pretty much a basic-bitch of the genre. I’d have to say that roughly an hour and a half of this film was very predictable and interchangeable with any number of other action films out there.

The end of the film picked up a bit.

Although it had the typical giant battle that these kinds of movies have, there was something about it all that stood out at that point. The ending itself went in the direction I wanted it to, also… which helped my overall opinion.

Where acting was concerned, I was impressed. I’ve said it before; a good cast can elevate a mediocre film to something more than just watchable.

Dong-gun Jang (Dangerous Liaisons, My Way, Friend) was very believable as the remorseful assassin. Min-hee Kim (The Day After, Helpless, Hellcats), however, was the shining star of the cast. As the grieving mother trying to live her life, I found her to be completely flawless. She perfected her character with absolute precision.

If you’re not a fan of foreign films (there is some English in this but it’s woven in with the Korean), then there are other movies you could get the same feel from. For people who don’t mind subtitles, though, I’d recommend this.

Cat’s Point of View:
Okay dice, what the hell is up with rolling all of these movies where stuff happens to kids? Seriously. I think our dice are sadistic sometimes. Of course, I’m apparently happy to be a masochist, because I really liked this movie. This Korean film had a lot to offer across multiple genres.

Lovers of action movies with good fight choreography should enjoy the sequences here, and those who dig the stuff that goes boom get their share of screen-time enjoyment, too.

I have to tip my proverbial hat to the stunt choreographer here. I was really impressed. Of course, the actors and stunt doubles made it all look easy and flawless. Lead, Dong-gun Jang (The Promise, The Warrior's Way, A Gentleman's Dignity), did take on training with US special forces members in order to polish his movement to give his role more authenticity. I definitely think he succeeded there.

I’m afraid I struggled a little at first with Min-hee Kim’s (The Sword with No Name, Moby Dick, The Handmaiden) character. Ultimately, she won me over. She wasn’t the only familiar face among the cast, though. Brian Tee (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Hawaii Five-0, Chicago Med) has had wide media exposure in both big and small screen productions in the US. I really enjoyed the depth to his character. I got the impression there were even more layers that were just beyond reach of the audience, as well. It left me yearning to know more about his character’s story.

Don’t get confused when you hear English and don’t see subtitles in the very beginning of the movie. The characters start speaking Korean soon enough, and there’s a little English sprinkled around. I liked the way it was all mixed together.

All in all, I loved the pacing and the irony laced into the tale. I wouldn’t mind watching it again, and certainly recommend it for fans of the action genre. If you’re a parent or extra sensitive to the plight of children, though, keep some tissues handy.

Speech Available: Korean
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 26%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 55%
Metascore - 53/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.7/10
IMDB Score – 6.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

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