Korean Movie Review: No Tears for the Dead

After the critical and commercial success of “The Man From Nowhere,” expectations were high for Lee Jeong-bom’s next feature, “No Tears for the Dead,” which stars one of Korea’s biggest actors, Jang Dong-gun.

 

Jang plays Gon, a Korean-born hit man who works for the triads in the United States. His latest mission doesn’t go according to plan, as he not only takes out his target, but also the target’s young daughter. Stricken by grief and remorse, Gon wants out of the game. But before he can leave, his boss wants him to take care of one last mission: taking out Mo-gyeong (Kim Min-hee), the mother of the girl he killed.

 

If people were expecting another “Man from Nowhere,” they were sadly disappointed. While the action is thrilling and the combat scenes brutal (one particular knife fight genuinely made me wince), the film suffers from weaknesses in the script that make all the good work in the action sequences seem redundant.

 

Gon is traumatized after killing a child; so much so that he sleeps in a pile of his own vomit and is clearly a shadow of his former self. Yet the triad boss thinks it’s a good idea for him to take out the dead girl’s mother. This makes absolutely no sense and the film lost me at this point, which comes very early on.

 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only convenient plot device. When Gon infiltrates Mo-gyeong’s house to finally murder her, it just so happens that she is watching a DVD of her dead daughter’s talent show. Can he go through with the hit? Or does he feel regret and go against his boss’s orders? I’ll let you watch the film and find out for yourself.

 

If you’re not too bothered by outlandish plot devices and some questionable dialogue, and simply want a film that is action-packed and bloodsoaked, then this is the movie for you. Because, let me tell you, it’s lucky that there are no tears for the dead. If there were, the film might have to be renamed “Waterworld.”

 

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