Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: No Tears for the Dead

Guilty hit man, angry triad and grieving mother lead to a stylized bloodbath in this Korean import.

June 18, 2014

-By Daniel Eagan


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1402988-No_Tears_Md.jpg
Another "hit man with a heart of gold" forms the basis of this derivative thriller from Korean director Lee Jeong-beom (The Man From Nowhere). Action junkies might be drawn to the movie's violence, but for most viewers this will be a tedious repeat of better films. Two lower-budgeted action movies outperformed No Tears for the Dead when it was released in Korea.

The opening copies John Woo's The Killer almost note for note, as conflicted gunman Gon (Jang Dong-gun) blows away a handful of men in the back room of a nightclub. But he also kills a young girl while failing to retrieve important financial data. His angry boss sends Gon to Korea to kill the girl's mother, Choi Mogyeong (Kim Min-Hee).

Choi works in a financial firm that launders triad money, $100 million of which has gone missing. Plus the cops are after Choi because her husband, killed by Gon in the earlier shootout, was dealing with Russian mobsters. Gon's boss has also sent a trio of killers to take care of the hit man and any survivors. Leading the trio: Chaoz (Brian Tee), once Gon's best friend.

In Korea, Gon plants listening devices in Choi's house, follows her to a hospital where her mother is dying of dementia, and sifts through her photos and videos, haunted by the death of her daughter. At times he thinks back to his childhood, when his drug-addict mother abandoned him in the desert before committing suicide.

Awash in cheap sentimentality, No Tears for the Dead lurches from one set-piece to the next with little logic or credibility. Better-trained killers, or at least those not suffering from crippling emotional handicaps, would have handled this situation with a minimum of fuss. Instead, No Tears for the Dead seems intent on referencing as many hit-man movies as it can, giving the two leads more time to mope about inexorable fate and the loss of loved ones.

The last section of the movie restages a scaled-down version of the original Die Hard, as cops futilely surround a skyscraper taken over by crooks while Gon picks off the bad guys one by one.

Although made with care and sporting impressive production values, No Tears for the Dead (released in Korea as The Crying Man) feels counterfeit, from its tired plot to its maudlin characters.

Click here for cast & crew information.


Film Review: No Tears for the Dead

Guilty hit man, angry triad and grieving mother lead to a stylized bloodbath in this Korean import.

June 18, 2014

-By Daniel Eagan


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1402988-No_Tears_Md.jpg

Another "hit man with a heart of gold" forms the basis of this derivative thriller from Korean director Lee Jeong-beom (The Man From Nowhere). Action junkies might be drawn to the movie's violence, but for most viewers this will be a tedious repeat of better films. Two lower-budgeted action movies outperformed No Tears for the Dead when it was released in Korea.

The opening copies John Woo's The Killer almost note for note, as conflicted gunman Gon (Jang Dong-gun) blows away a handful of men in the back room of a nightclub. But he also kills a young girl while failing to retrieve important financial data. His angry boss sends Gon to Korea to kill the girl's mother, Choi Mogyeong (Kim Min-Hee).

Choi works in a financial firm that launders triad money, $100 million of which has gone missing. Plus the cops are after Choi because her husband, killed by Gon in the earlier shootout, was dealing with Russian mobsters. Gon's boss has also sent a trio of killers to take care of the hit man and any survivors. Leading the trio: Chaoz (Brian Tee), once Gon's best friend.

In Korea, Gon plants listening devices in Choi's house, follows her to a hospital where her mother is dying of dementia, and sifts through her photos and videos, haunted by the death of her daughter. At times he thinks back to his childhood, when his drug-addict mother abandoned him in the desert before committing suicide.

Awash in cheap sentimentality, No Tears for the Dead lurches from one set-piece to the next with little logic or credibility. Better-trained killers, or at least those not suffering from crippling emotional handicaps, would have handled this situation with a minimum of fuss. Instead, No Tears for the Dead seems intent on referencing as many hit-man movies as it can, giving the two leads more time to mope about inexorable fate and the loss of loved ones.

The last section of the movie restages a scaled-down version of the original Die Hard, as cops futilely surround a skyscraper taken over by crooks while Gon picks off the bad guys one by one.

Although made with care and sporting impressive production values, No Tears for the Dead (released in Korea as The Crying Man) feels counterfeit, from its tired plot to its maudlin characters.

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
Film Review: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Venture inside the hallowed hallways of Japan's most prestigious animation studio in this insightful documentary. More »

Antarctica: A  Year On Ice
Film Review: Antarctica: A Year on Ice

Thrilling, award-winning New Zealand doc about the mysterious and forbidding continent at the bottom of the world is not your usual travelogue, but a surprising exploration of the human soul and human needs. Happily, adorable penguins and stunning visuals also get screen time. More »

Remote Area Medical
Film Review: Remote Area Medical

Doc offers in-the-trenches evidence of dire need in the U.S. health-care system. More »

Immortalists
Film Review: The Immortalists

Attention-grabbing subject meets colorful characters in this science doc. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Penguins of Madagascar
Film Review: Penguins of Madagascar

Frenetic vehicle for supporting players from the Madagascar films will entertain kids but prove a little wearying for their parents. More »

imitation game
Film Review: The Imitation Game

Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here