No Tears for the Dead (or, The Crying Man in Korea) tells the story of Gon, a hit man who mourns the accidental death of a child when his crime boss sends him to kill the girl’s mother. Korean action star Jang Dong-gun delivers as Gon, kicking, shooting, and stabbing his way through squad after squad of gangsters that his boss sends after him when Gon’s change of heart becomes known. American flicks like John Wick or the Indonesian film The Raid: Redemption come to mind as Gon decides to take the heat to his former running mates, on a path to rinse away the sins of the past with blood.
I’m not big on Korean films but this one came dubbed in English, and the remorse Gon feels makes for a compelling storyline. Of course, it can slide into a video game-meets- Steven Seagal film, but the nuances of how one can redeem oneself ultimately makes this a bit more interesting. Kim Min-hee plays the mother of the girl, Mo-gyeong, and her grief over her dead husband’s decisions and the death of her daughter make her a parallel figure to Gon. We don’t know if they will actually end up redeemed, or dead, but it makes for a pretty solid buildup to the final act.
Most of us have made a mistake big enough that we have regrets. Ultimately, how we handle that regret impacts our journey, our dreams, and our reality. For both Gon and Mo-gyeong, they can run, they can make amends, or they can fight. Their decisions as the film steams ahead to its conclusion will impact… everything.
If John Wick didn’t whet your appetite, then maybe the Die Hard skyscraper finale will do it. rating: borrow it