Nowhere to Hide

"Weak"

Nowhere to Hide Review


Altered States director Ken Russell once said that all films should be viewed in fast-forward. This vision of cinema comes to fruition in Myung-se Lee's ultra-stylized Nowhere to Hide, less a movie than a hyperactive video game come to life.

The opening scenes are a barrage of fight sequences strung together by flash cuts, snapshots, blurs, tilts, whirls, and colors that bleed into one another like paintings. And those first ten minutes are all you need to see (and, not surprisingly, were used extensively in the American trailer). Choreographed to a fast paced, melancholy rock ballad, an assassin slices some businessman up and escapes the police. Meanwhile, a rogue cop jumps on a table and starts opening fire randomly on a group of thugs. It makes absolutely no sense, but it hardly matters. No plot, no character development, just pure carnage in full throttle.

For better or for worse (as I was perfectly happy to let it continue as violent nonsense), the camera and editing techniques move into a more subdued groove as we get into the story of a cop on the edge -- is there any other kind? Detective Woo is played with slapstick gusto by Joong-Hoon Park, joined by Dong-Kun Jang as his square-jawed, by-the-books sidekick. They eat some sushi, chase some bad guys down alleyways, kick around suspects in the interrogation room, and steadily close in on the villains.

The inconsequential plot is merely a framework for exhaustive combat scenes, all framed with the unsubtle bravura of comic books. Take the Crispin Glover kung-fu ballet in Charlie's Angels and multiply it by 1,000 -- that's an accurate summation of Nowhere to Hide. It sounds obtuse to compare a Korean action flick with a Hollywood movie ripping off those established cinematic elements, but Nowhere to Hide seems to have gone through that filter of American junk food and returned home the worse for wear.

It certainly looks cool, if you're into the smoke and mirrors of music videos. For all his enthusiasm, Myung-se Lee is too giddy with the delights of slow-motion and spin kicks to miss the vital ingredient found in the emotionally gripping films of Wong Kar Wai: soul. Myung-se he has been inexplicably compared to Wong by culturally ignorant critics who lump all Asian cinema into one lump sum. Placing Fallen Angels or even the decidedly uneven In the Mood For Love next to Nowhere to Hide, it's clear that we're comparing an artist to a showboat.

If you like your movies stupid and fast, track down Nowhere to Hide. If that's not a backhanded compliment, I don't know what is.

Aka Injeong sajeong bol geot eobtda.

Nowhere to fly to, either.



Nowhere to Hide

Facts and Figures

Run time: 112 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 31st July 1999

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Sara Crane, as Detective Jack Irons, as Edward Crane, Brian Dietzen as Sheldon Wilkes

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.