Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Action, Comedy
  • 1999
  • 101 mins

Nowhere To Hide

Nowhere To Hide

Synopsis

Hard-hitting chase thriller directed by the leader of the Korean New Wave Lee Myung-Se. A stunning visual feast, artfully playing with conventions of cinematic time and resembling a manga animation, this is a film dripping with Eastern promise

About

In a beautifully-shot early sequence, an unknown stranger is stabbed to death. The tone is set for the rest of the film. Drenched with startling colours, disjointed in its time structure and characterised by a lingering attention to indirect details (a girl playing at the scene of the crime, the reflection of the waiting assassin's face in a CD, rain pummelling the bonnet of the car he waits in) the sequence pounds on to a murderous freeze frame climax; teasing, dazzling and intriguing by turn.

Suddenly, the chase is on and a motley crew of ruthless, fascistic cops are on the trail, consistently eluded by the fugitive Sungmin (Ahn) - as smooth as polished ice and as bad as Lee Van Cleef. On the other side is the ultra-violent Detective Woo (Park), a man who has no qualms about torturing his captives. "Call a lawyer and say you were beaten, if I cared I wouldn't be a detective," he tells one bloodied heap.

The brutal police at first seem worse than the criminals, but soon reveal a tender, confused-big-kid side: a theme often movingly (especially thanks to Park's winning smile and fine slapped puppy impression) but sometimes clumsily dealt with - the film's one dud scene features drawn out soul-searching after a criminal is shot.

For the rest though, the viewer is led on a spectacular, frenetic trail through the Korean underworld; constantly assaulted and challenged by the ever-changing imagery and timescale of director Lee Myung-Se's unique brand of cinema.

Perhaps it will seem dated in a few years, but for now, who cares?

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Jang Dong-Keon, Park Joong-Hun, Shim Cheoi-Jong, Ahn Seong-Ki, Do Yong-Koo, Lee Won-Jong, Choi Ji-Wu
  • Director: Lee Myeong-Se
  • Writer: Lee Myung-Se
  • Producer: Chung Tae-Won
  • Photographer: Song Haeng-Ki, Jeong Kwang-Seok
  • Composer: Kim Dae-Hong, Choi Young-Hoon, Cho Sung-Woo

In a nutshell

It is poetry in motion - a live action manga - and even though the visual bombardment sometimes jars and distracts from the action, it always looks incredible.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The First Film

    Director David Nicholas Wilkinson's documentary about how the world's first-ever movie was made in Wilkinson's native Leeds.

    On Film4: 5 Mar 11:00AM

  • Film4

    Hercules

    Lou Ferrigno (star of TV series The Incredible Hulk), Sybil Danning, Ingrid Anderson and Mirella D'Angelo star in Luigi Cozzi's mythological romp for the low-budget action specialists The Cannon Group.

  • Film4

    Wild Tales on Film4

    Damián Szifrons BAFTA-winning black comedy plays on Film4 for the first time.

  • Film4

    As Above, So Below on Film4

    A deadly secret is discovered under the streets of Paris in this intensely creepy found-footage horror, playing on Film4 for the first time.

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share