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A lethal assassin for a secret Chinese organisation, who sheds tears of regret each time he kills, is seen swiftly and mercilessly executing three Yakuza gangsters by a beautiful artist. She is captivated by the grace of his kill and later falls in love with him. An intense power struggle for the leadership of the Yakuza Clans ensues as they seek vengeance for the death of their leader. They soon realise the fatal mistake of underestimating the deadly skills of the Crying Freeman. Written by
Va, Pensiero, Sull'Ali Dorate
from the opera "Nabucco"
Written by Giuseppe Verdi (as Guiseppe Verdi)
Performed by Deutsche Oper Berlin (as The Chorus and Orchestra of the German Opera) Giuseppe Sinopoli (as Guiseppe Sinopoli), conductor
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon, a division of Polygram See more »
The first live-action manga movie, starring Mark Dacascos as the lethal Freeman, does not disappoint
Movie Review: Crying Freeman (1995)
Directed by Christopher Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf), Crying Freeman was the first live-action manga movie in history.
The seminal martial artist Mark Dacascos (Drive and Brotherhood of the Wolf) stars as Yo Hinimura, the latest in a line of executioners of the `Sons of the Dragons', an ancient Chinese group, originally founded to protect the Chinese people from danger and injustice, and still in practice today.
On one job when he is sent to kill the son of the leader of one of the Yakuza clans, a beautiful artist, painting the landscape, sees him skilfully executing the man and his bodyguards. Seeing him shedding tears after killing them, instead of being afraid she is captivated and drawn towards him. However, seconds after introducing himself, he disappears.
According to the laws of the Sons of the Dragons, since she has seen his face, she must be killed. But when Yo Hinimura, the freeman, cannot bring himself to kill her, they soon find themselves under fire from the Yakuza, the police, and even the Sons of the Dragons.
Crying Freeman delivers excellent action set pieces, as well as solid drama, but there are a few flaws. The director, Gans, often over-uses slow motion in the action scenes, which quickly becomes repetitive and detracts from the otherwise excellent action. Also, aside from Dacascos, who plays the character of Hinimura to perfection, the acting is occasionally mediocre and lacking emotion. In addition, Dacascos, one of the best martial artists in the world, is not given little chance to shine, although this is understandable, as why would an assassin resort to hand-to-hand combat when he has firearms and blades at his disposal.
Overall, Crying Freeman is an above-par movie. The Hong-Kong style action is very entertaining, and while the plot is neither original nor outstanding, it is still enjoyable. Although Gans later went on to make another movie with Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf), which is more polished, has a budget about ten times larger, and showcases Dacascos' skills as a martial artist much better, Crying Freeman is still definitely worth watching.
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