No Tears For The Dead (2014)
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Critic Reviews for No Tears For The Dead
This is the kind of sleek, precisely constructed genre work that's gone missing from American summer movies.
There are more tears than the title lets on, and even more blood, but it's a reason to truly be invested that's missing.
Writer-director Lee Jeong-beom certainly understands action. When he gets the story right, his films will get a wider audience in the U.S.
No Tears for the Dead has some of the most jaw-dropping action any film could ask for, but the other factors of the film are so weak that they fail to make as much of an impact or any sort of impact at all other than severe irritation.
The first hour is uneven, but some of the action scenes in the second half rival THE RAID 2.
Several dim-witted moments make it difficult to appreciate the movie's finer points - specifically the appealing cast and some grizzly action directed with verve and panache.
Audience Reviews for No Tears For The Dead
The action is there, no doubt, but the film's bombastic plot, corny dialogue and melodrama is easily as visible. No Tears For the Dead may keep the action-goers at ease and filled with joy, but its overall story becomes distraught and muddling as the film progresses. 3/5
There's a review on here that the second hour of this film rivals The Raid 2. And I have to wonder in which way he means. If it is the fast-paced, kinetic, in your face action, then I would at least agree with the one, at least. Not necessarily the first two. I wouldn't say that the film is slow-paced or lacks the complexities of movements as The Raid, both of them, but both Raid movies are above and beyond what anyone has done in fucking years in terms of action. If the reviewer meant as far as bloodiest action film since The Raid 2 then I would wholeheartedly agree with that. I still think the latter would win over this as far as a more violent action movie in general. But this is pretty up there as far as violence is concerned. The scene in the apartment complex is, by far, the bloodiest scene I've seen in any movie this year. And that covers violent horror movies and think of the ground that covers. I wouldn't say this is the second coming of action films or will give the genre a much needed boost of creativity, but I thought this was a pretty good movie. It's funny since the last movie I reviewed, Once Upon a Time in Shanghai, I gave it an average score because it was all action and no story to hold it together. And I suppose that this film could be described the same way by some people. I would disagree in the sense that, while it may not be particularly good, there is a story here that, surprisingly, had me invested. It's not like I was emotionally attached to the characters, but the film at least tries to give the leads some personalities as opposed to just being talking heads filling in time before the next action scene comes. And the whole plot involving the Triads and John Lee and their illicit business dealings was not as convoluted as it probably would've seemed at first glance. One thing is that the movie's tone is way too goddamn serious and dark. I don't think there's a problem with that as long as you sprinkle in some moments of levity to bring it all down for a bit. You don't have to do them every five minutes, as that would kill the pacing and how it builds up, but maybe after every big plot point there could've been some lightness involved. The film just crawls through a pit of despair, ugliness and depression the likes of which you've rarely seen. Oh and top of that pit of despair, ugliness and depression there are used needles and razor blades. I may be overstating the point, but the movie took itself way too seriously. The action is the real strength of the film. It's just not afraid to be violent as fuck, which is something that most films, even Korean films, tend to shy away from just so they can get as much people watching as possible. The acting is fairly solid, but there's a bit of melodrama in some of the performances themselves. Like the ending itself was so weepy. This wouldn't usually be problematic, but it literally comes out of nowhere and it serves no purpose other than to show that Gon, the lead character, who's a cold and stoic killer, actually had human emotions. That's fine, I guess. But it was so out-of-context that it wasn't even funny. It didn't fit and the ending of the film came across as very flat. With that said, in spite of the flaws in terms of tone and story, I actually did enjoy this film quite a bit. Probably more than I was expecting to be honest. It's not gonna set your world on fire but it is gonna offer a solid, ultra-violent alternative to summer blockbusters, if that's what's up your alley. Pretty good movie here.
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