Nowhere to Hide (2013)

Genres - Action, Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Action Comedy, Action Thriller, Chase Movie, Police Detective Film  |   Release Date - Dec 22, 2000 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - Bulgaria , Korea, South , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jonathan Crow

Director Lee Myung-Se has always been one of the Korean cinema's more over-the-top filmmakers -- his early works such as Gagman and My Love, My Wife make the work of the Coen brothers seem like gritty realism -- but with this work he explores territory that goes beyond the wink and nod of a Quentin Tarantino potboiler and into the realm of utter self-referentialism. Nowhere to Hide is less of a genre flick than a meta-movie -- a film entirely about film -- featuring references from Seijun Suzuki, Akira Kurosawa, Wong Kar-wai, and John Woo (note the main character's name), along with sundry music videos and television commercials. The crime at the film's outset -- in which the victim is stabbed on a busy public stairwell -- is executed with effervescent aplomb that not only seems to draw straight from Sergei Eisenstein and Alfred Hitchcock but also from the Beatles, thanks to a Fab Four pastiche accompanying the sequence. The film's denouement -- a fist fight between Woo and the bad guy in a sunlit rainstorm -- is equal sequences staged by Sergio Leone and Shinya Tsukamoto. Fortunately, the giddy glee with which Lee handles the medium proves to be infectious; the film is pretty darned entertaining and Park Joong Hoon gives a certain yobbish charm to his role as the man-child bruiser Woo that nicely complements the loopy tone of the film. Nowhere to Hide is a raucous, dizzying work that will overwhelm audiences with sheer visual invention.