This month’s film screening at the Japanese embassy is Adrenaline Drive which is a late ‘90s comedy action flick directed by Shinobu Yaguchi. Shinobu Yaguchi has made family friendly films as well as experimental ones. Waterboys (2001), Happy Flight (2008), Swing Girls (2007) and, most recently, Wood Job! (2014) are what I would see as broad comedies designed to appeal to wide audiences but as good as these are (and they are good) it’s his early experimental film The Rain Women which has me most intrigued after I wrote about it screening at the Berlin International Film Festival this year.
Anyway, this is a parody of action and romance movies and it contains slapstick comedy. It is held together by likeable performances from lead actors Masanobu Ando and Hikari Ishida.
Masanobu Ando should be familiar to J-film fans from his incredible performance as Shinji in Kids Return (1996) and Kiriyama in Battle Royale (2000). He has appeared in many other cult films and worked with a variety of directors and has proven himself to be a great leading man, so it is a shame he isn’t used more… Hikari Ishida is another underused actor although I must admit that the only other film I have seen her in is Séance (2000)…
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