Seizmologist Hoichi loses touch with his family when he predicts that there will be an earthquake in Tokyo of greater magnitude than the one in 1923, which his father predicted. Because of this he starts seeing another woman, who already has a boyfriend. Hoichi's wife wants to meet her before she will grant a divorce. Eventually, the earthquake he predicted does come, which changes all relationships and exemplifies the character of the Japanese. Written by
Scott Hutchins <email@example.com>
Special effects and pyrotechnics are the only virtues in this otherwise wholly forgettable little Japanese disaster flick, about a monstrous-sized earthquake occurring in Japan. First 45-minutes are little more than melodramatics between geologist and his family, and his possible, impending divorce, and the disgrace of his family's name. He believes a major earthquake will strike Japan in the very near future, but is not believed.
The film eventually comes alive in a well done special effects sequence where a Japanese city is destroyed (or a miniature version of it, anyway) and buildings crumble, cars crash, cameras shake, and, in my opinion, a well-staged plane crashes while coming in for a landing, the city is thrown into chaos and panics when they realise he was unfortunately correct. These scenes are, in my mind anyway, quite well done and impressive, the only reason to search for this film, really, but it is a LONG wait for them.
I'm rewatching this and writing a review of this only couple of days after the 9.0 earthquake occurred in Japan, so we're finding out, in real life, what the Japanese and he rest of the world's response would be to just such an event. Or is that what full and complete 127-minute version of the film deals with? Perhaps that improves the American 96-minute version, with more miniature effects and a more complete ending? Or was that just more soap opera baloney in the first scenes? In the America version, the ending also probably only makes sense to people who are aware of the Japanese veneration of suicide.
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