Tuesday, June 05, 2018

'Re:Born' May Be 'The Raid' of Japan

Re:Born is a Japanese action film that was initially released in 2016, but it’s only being seen my most international audiences this year.  It caught my attention when I stumbled upon a trailer of it on my Facebook news feed.  Based on that trailer, it looked like The Raid of Japan, and since I love The Raid movies, I quickly checked it out.

The plot follows Toshiro (Tak Sagakuchi), a legendary black ops operative codenamed “Ghost”, whose quiet retired life is disrupted when assassins are sent to kill him.  Hence, he’s left with no choice but to kill them all first.
Well, the best thing about this movie is the jaw-dropping, hard-hitting fight choreography.   Like The Raid, it’s defined by exciting close combat action and a video game narrative structure, as it follows a hero going through a gauntlet of enemies of escalating number and strength, while showcasing how much of a badass martial artist he is.  However, though the fight scenes are mostly a lot of fun to watch, they don’t feel as grounded and cathartic as the fight scenes in The Raid.  Sometimes, they even feel goofily over-the-top (especially when Toshiro starts waving his body like a snake), which slightly breaks the suspension of disbelief required to enjoy the movie.  The plot doesn’t have much substance either, and is awfully predictable.

That said, Re:Born is a gritty martial arts romp that should prove generally pleasing to action enthusiasts.

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