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Maiku Hama is a private detective working in Yokohama. Hama comes to the aid of a Taiwanese waiter named Yang and agrees to track down his missing brother. Through a series of double-crosses Hama gets embroiled in a gang war and a revenge plot between the two brothers. Written by
Todd K. Bowman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Odd hodgepodge of influences and ideas actually resulting in a really entertaining movie
The Most Terrible Time In My Life is quite simply a real oddity of a film. The film is a hodgepodge of influences (namely Seijun Suzuki and Mickey Spillane), genres (Japanese '60s B-movies, film-noir, and comedy), and ideas. Really, the film should feel like a mess as it shifts on the drop of a dime from trying to appear like a serious noir to being a wacky comedy, but surprisingly it all manages to work.
Kaizo Hayashi, the director, even gets to work in his heavy influence from Seijun Suzuki without it feeling derivative (that right there, you have to admit, is a feat worthy of notice!). It is strange to watch a Japanese movie from 1994 that simultaneously feels like it is a mid-'90s Japanese film and an early '60s B-movie shot by Suzuki on one of his much less abstract and experimental endeavors.
But see, right there is one of the most charming and endearing characteristics of The Most Terrible Time In My Life; that the film feels old and new, original and old-hat, that it acts serious and then suddenly goofy and then back to being serious, that it can be hip and carefree and then gritty and a downer and back again--and all of this throughout the film somehow works.
This film is incredibly entertaining and interesting, and immensely enjoyable (plus the cameo by Jo Shishido *AS* Jo Shishido, who seemingly is not an actor in the world of the movie but instead the long-standing P.I. mentor to the protagonist, is mind blowing to anyone who is a fan of "Cheek's" films or his work with Suzuki). If you can get a hold of this film, you really should, it is well worth your time if you have any interest in film noir/neo-noir, Mike Hammer, Seijun Suzuki, or left-field Japanese cinema.
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