Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
No Tears for the Dead: Big Hitmen Don’t Cry
a hitman for the mob, Gon is sure to have mother issues. He is also living with
a case of soul-crushing guilt. Not surprisingly, he acts somewhat erratically
on his latest job. In fact, he starts protecting the woman he is supposed to
kill. It turns out they have been tragically linked by fate in Lee Jeong-beom’s
No Tears for the Dead (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in New York.
a crooked investment banker tries to sell the Chinese Triad’s offshore banking
information to the Russian mob, Gon is dispatched by their Korean allies to
kill everyone involved. Unfortunately, there were two very awkward
complications. Gon accidentally killed the banker’s young daughter, but he
failed to recover the flashdrive in question. He and his boss have very
different opinions regarding which is more important.
would prefer to sink into oblivion, but the boss insists he travel home from
America to finish the job. Unbeknownst to her, the little girl’s grieving
mother Mo-gyeong will soon have possession of the Macguffin, but of course she
will not recognize it for what it is. The Korean mob and the crooked cops they
have bought and paid for are determined to make her disappear, but they did not
anticipate Gon going rogue. However, he will have to be a bit cagey when
Mo-gyeong asks just who is he and what is it all to him?
is just no getting around the depressing nature of the first half of Tears. Nevertheless, the mayhem gets
pretty spectacular when the bullets start flying. Although the climax is highly reminiscent of
the original Die Hard, the shootouts
and beatdowns are staged with admirable bravado. Brian Tee (recognizable from The Wolverine and Tokyo Drift) also makes quite a charismatic villain, calling out
Gon as his sworn brother Chaoz.
Jang Dong-gun seethes and broods like mad, while showing off first class action
chops. Kim Min-hee is frighteningly credible portraying Mo-gyeong on the way
down, but she does not sell her rage-to-live nearly as convincingly. It is also
worth noting the little girl playing the little girl is so expressive, it is
like a knife to the gut.
Frankly, the first half is downright morose and
angsty, but the second half delivers with all guns blazing (literally). Fans of
Lee’s breakout hit The Man from Nowhere will
be happy to see him further refining his formula mixing dark, emotionally
resonant drama and adrenaline-charged, up-close-and-personal melee. Recommended
for genre fans with a taste for the existential, No Tears for the Dead opens this Friday (6/20) in New York at the
Labels: Korean Cinema, Lee Jeong-beom