Crying Freeman (1995)
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"Crying Freeman" is one of my favorite movies ever. I can watch it again and again many times. This movie is first of all a work of art. It is uncanny beautiful, in every small detail. Almost each episode I can watch through as if it were a picture of a talented artist. Graceful, elegant, very aesthetic - CF is a masterpiece of visual art. I fell in love with it when I first saw the starting credits: a wonderful katana sword turning and revealing the title in a flash: "Crying Freeman". And the rest of the credits, no less beautiful. I thought that if the creators of this movie could make the opening title so stunningly beautiful, then the movie itself would not disappoint me as well. And it didn't. But besides visual beauty, CF has a marvelous plot, actors and... Well, I'll simply say the whole blend of all things that make a movie is perfect in the "Crying Freeman". And again, when I try to describe my impression from some part of the movie, I can think of only one word - beautiful. No, even "fair". Yo Hinomura, deadly and elegant, as a katana blade. Beauty of death. And his another side - soft and artistic. Beauty of art and poetry. Emu O'Hara, fair and tender. Beauty of peace and modesty. Lady Hanada. Even she has the beauty - of pride and honor. Beauty can be found in every detail.
And deep layers that accompany each Christophe Gans' movie... You might watch "Crying Freeman" a hundred of times and on the hundred and first you'll something you haven't seen before.
I am very grateful to all the people that made the creation of "Crying Freeman" possible.
I have waited years for this to come onto TV and have stood many times in a video store with a £20 dvd of it in my hand, wondering if I should just buy it. As a fan of Dacascos I wanted to see anything with him in it but, having seen it, I'm glad I didn't sell out the money for it. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, but it could have been a little better. Based on the magna series, this film has respect for the source material and told the story well (at least I thought so as an uninitiated). The story may not stand up under great thought but it is good enough for this type of film.
The direction is excellent and the film is really stylish, using the slow motion that (at the time) wasn't the toast of the town in Western cinema yet. The weakness the film has is in the action, it is good but I didn't feel there was ever a time when it really let rip and became visually stunning or overly impressive. Considering how able Dacascos is at martial arts, it was a shame he didn't have one major fight to really shine on. However, like I said, the action is still pretty stylish and enjoyable.
This was the time when it looked like Dacascos would rise up to take over from more established Western action stars, but sadly it doesn't seem to have happened. Here he has to hide his natural charisma, which hampers him a little, but he is still a very watchable presence on screen and he is good in the lead. The support cast ably hold him up and features quite a few well known faces including Chong, Karyo, Kato and Mann. The main casting weakness is Condra who I didn't think a great deal of to be honest. Her narration is droning and bland and her character is not really developed in any way.
Despite the weaknesses though, this was a good martial arts movie which benefits from having a classy feel to it and a strong source material to fall back on. It lacks the punch of a `balls out' action movie, but is still enjoyable. Could have done with a bit more heart, but stands out as a classy martial arts movie.
The movie is a close adaptation to the Manga without trying to do the inimitable. Marc Dacascos is an acknowledged martial artist and acrobat which adds only to the credentials he brings to the movie. Of course, as all avid manga watchers will know, there is always a perverted dimension to the Manga movies. This is not so apparent in this movie adaptation, but suffice it to say that the romantic interest in this movie, has a face which seems so beautiful and tender, it could have come right out of a Japanese novel.
Superb watching. I recommend it to anyone who liked the Manga.
Very interesting movie indeed.Lets hope Dacascos does more stuff like this.
Yo Hinomura/Freeman is an assassin who is captured killing Yakuza mobsters. As he risks his life in a bloody battle for leadership and respect, a beautiful woman falls in love with him, offering her help.
First, I want to note that Crying Freeman is one of the most beautiful action movies, ever shot. It's not the "gunshots" that make it attractive. It's not the experimental directing style that provokes your curiosity. It's the lightly, rhythmical plot development. There are a couple of very beautiful shots that you'll never find in a Steven Segal film. The creators show how much they care about that story which is based on anime series. I always like movies that are made out of artistic passion and love for the particular genre.
Crying Freeman, unlike most 90s "boom-boom" flicks, tells a story about honor and human will. Freeman is a perfectly shaped character, quite likable, although he is not "the guy who saved the world". Silent and prepared, dangerous and wise. I never asked for such things before watching the movie and I am sure nobody has. Maybe that is why I loved it.
It's the depth of the story that made the movie very different for me. This is arguably one of a kind film that depends on its own style. Crying Freeman is almost modest and unambitious which is something, I personally, haven't seen in the past couple of year. Christophe Gans's movie promises to remain a classic if future generations manage to look through its "soul".
Of course, comments about the cast could hardly be made. Due to realism purposes, the creators have gathered a cast of almost unknown performers who do their best and in my opinion, succeed, delivering good performances.
The bad points are almost imperceptible. I kinda disliked how some scenes are way too dark. I've always hated that in movies. Yes, it is more authentic, but you can easily miss a character being killed or something like that. I had hard times, recognizing the villains in the third act, because some of them are killed in the first half on the movie.
Crying Freeman makes us realize we were in a big mistake. There are action movies about moral values.
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.