Movie Review: The Man From Nowhere
A somber, yet emotionally compelling narrative that escalates it’s intensity from start to finish.
The story centers on a former government agent who becomes a self-employed orthodontist. He lives inside the same apartment building as a drug-abusing mother and her daughter. The daughter is very mischievous and acts out often enough for the orthodontist to grow so polarized by her that he abandons her during a situation involving authorities. Emotions rise but not much else… until the drug-circle the mother is affiliated with attacks and kidnaps the daughter. After witnessing the monstrous actions of the kidnappers, the former agent takes action to save the daughter in an effort to atone for his lack of action in her time of need.
The film is composed of various martial arts choreography that places an emphasis on realism and lethality. It is grit-induced action that hits with impact in every instance of physical engagement. What drives our character, ‘The Dentist’, is a fight for redemption in a world that has not only done him wrong in the past, but has also created so much ugliness within him that he would impart that ugliness to even a small child. This theme attacks the notion of self-pity, and displays how latching on to pain can dull you to the suffering of others– despite having the ability to do good and meaningful things. It critically examines apathy, and explores both the thinking and consequences of people that live their lives spreading it– and later, those that yield profit from it.
What makes this movie so great is how the crew and team behind it gave the situation and conflict the weight it truly deserves. This is something that is so lost in western film. Very often, the conflict presented before the protagonist in western action movies is typically undercut by the influence the protagonist has within the narrative. They struggle, but the actions and impact of the antagonists never seem to stake up or equally rival the hero/heroine’s. This is all done intentionally, and is the main reason why the theme of “meet violence with violence” works for this story. In this film, it is the sheer conviction and disgust felt by our hero that pushes him through this hardcore journey to stop evil. The story stays bleak despite how competent the main character is, and it’s a constant race/rush to see if he can stop these individuals from committing further harm to innocents. It is rogue vigilante justice on a concentrated scale, and the story does not pull any punches. It shows the audience time and again the severity of the situation, the scale of the antagonizing force, and when the final confrontation happens– it is a climax that practically screams, ‘this was destiny’. Each strike feels savage, yet justified. The violence speaks to the idea that at times, evil needs to be met with methods that reflects its own savagery. Because sometimes, that is the only way to stop monstrous behavior or even create a climate for discourse against it. The violence is not gratuitous—it is reflective and practically necessary.
There are many films that probably have accomplished what this film has done. I even bet there are ones that can achieve it better. However, what I will say is this; as an aspiring filmmaker, if I can instill within my audience a feeling that even remotely comes close to how this film has made me feel, I will see myself as successful within this craft. This movie has become a personal goal to aim for in my career. Hope to have others see it the same way. 🙂
Savon Saint-Anthony Crisp — Just a quaint fellow from St. Louis, Missouri.
Sophomore studying Communications at Temple University, Japan- Land of the Rising Sun. Aspiring Indie Filmmaker with a love for Martial Arts, D&D Geek, and Sci-fi/Fantasy Writer.
Recent Work: Demí – A Fantasy Novel