Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 7th, 2015
BluRay released: February 17th, 2015
Approximate running time: 116 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
BluRay Release: CJ Entertainment
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: Abandon by his mother who committed suicide shortly after their arrival in American, a young man named Gon has since transformed into one of the mafia’s deadliest hit-men. Though most jobs go off without a problem, there are the occasional jobs where things go awry and on this occasion Gon accidentally kills a child. Consumed with guilt, things take a turn for the worse when the mafia asks him to kill the child’s mother. Reluctantly he takes the job realizing that if he does not take this job that the mafia will just send another hit-man to do the job. The action strengthens his determination to walk from those who had been there for him since his mother abandoned him. Unfortunately before he can serve ties there is one last thing he needs to do, protect the woman he has been given the task of eliminating.
On the surface though the premise for No Tears for the Dead bears a striking resemblance to director Jeong-beom Lee previous film The Man from Nowhere. Both films revolve around protagonists who are highly skilled killers who ultimately find their redemption by protecting someone that has been marked for death.
However this is where the similarities end, since there is dramatic shift in tone in regards to how each plays out. Where The Man from Nowhere devoted more time to building up its characters. And No Tears for the Dead takes an opposite route where blood soaked action sequences are the focal point. Unfortunately when this film does try to inject some moments of back-story these are far and few in-between. With that being said, the basic plot is just enough to keep things moving along.
Fortunately pacing is never an issue as things move along at a briskly. And as mentioned before this film’s bread and butter are its inventive action sequences. Whose unflinching depiction of violence is a satisfying mix of carnage and mayhem! With this film’s standout action set piece being a scene where the mother character has been taken into police protective custody. Her location is quickly revealed by a police informant. Then the kill squad comes in and demolishes the place. Needless to say when all is said and done what is left behind looks like hell on Earth. And of course this film culminates with another exceptional action set piece.
Performance wise the cast are more than adequate in their respective roles. With this film’s most standout performance coming from Min-hee Kim (The Sword with No Name) in the role of Mo-kyeong, the mother of the child who was accidently killed by Gon the hit-man. The strength of her performance is her characters ability to exude sympathy, while the majority of the characters which populate this film come off as caricatures. Another performance of note is Dong-gun Jang (Friend, My Way) in the role of Gon, the hit-man with a conscious and a man of few words. Ultimately No Tears for the Dead is one of those rare instance where style trumps substance and the end result is highly entertaining film that remains engaging throughout.
No Tears for the Dead comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look consistently strong throughout and details look sharp. There are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. All four audio mixes are in great shape. Dialog always comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and robust when its needs too. Range wise the sound effects and ambient noises are well represented. And when it comes to action heavy sequences these audio mixes really shine, especially the two DTS-HD 5.1 mixes. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include, a trailer for the film (30 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a segment titled ‘Action Highlights’ (2 minutes 1 second – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), a brief ‘Behind the Scenes’ segment (3 minutes 19 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), deleted scenes (6 minutes 49 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean and English with English subtitles), characters profile – Mogyeong (51 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) character profile – Gon (52 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles), interview with actor Brian Tee (2 minutes 4 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in English), a segment titled ‘Director’s Commentary’ with comments from the crew & cast (3 minutes 19 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles) and an informative ‘Making of’ featurette (27 minutes 12 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen, in Korean with English subtitles). Rounding out the extras are trailers for The Divine Move, Friend 2: The Legacy and The Admiral: Roaring Currents. Overall No Tears for the Dead gets an exceptional release from CJ Entertainment, highly recommended.
Note: This film is also being released by CJ Entertainment on DVD.