7.2/10
99
4 user 4 critic

Wana (1996)

| Drama, Mystery
Japan's favorite hard-boiled detective Maiku Hama (Masatoshi Nagase) returns for the third time in this crime drama. A crazed killer has been poisoning women around the city and planting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Maiku Hama / Mikki
Yui Natsukawa ...
Yuriko
Tomoko Yamaguchi ...
Mizuki
Kiyotaka Nanbara ...
Hoshino
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hiro Arai ...
Kage otoko
Akaji Maro ...
Detective
...
Shishido
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Storyline

Japan's favorite hard-boiled detective Maiku Hama (Masatoshi Nagase) returns for the third time in this crime drama. A crazed killer has been poisoning women around the city and planting Hama's fingerprints on the bodies. Hama must leave his cozy office behind the movie theater projection booth to clear his name.

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murder mystery | sequel | See All (2) »

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Drama | Mystery

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Also Known As:

The Trap  »

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2.35 : 1
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Followed by Shiritsu tantei Hama Maiku: Namae no nai mori (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Wildly Stylistic and Exciting Film
30 March 2005 | by (Kingman, Arizona) – See all my reviews

The very first minutes of this film seemed to pour on style like syrup on a stack of super-realistic Phillip Marlowe-era pancakes, and I was ready for a thrill. We start off back in the old Yokohama movie house by the wacky ticket-taker's booth and her dwarfish sidekick and then move upstairs to Maiku Hama's (Mike Hammer's) projection-booth private eye's office. And the opening's a dark, chilling one - an immediate confrontation with an eerie, masked character.

Maiku has a new girl friend in this sequel - a mute - with whom he frequently converses over the phone - she tapping responses on the mouthpiece in some private code they've agreed on, while he simply speaks, as she is not deaf. Language played a role in the first film of the Maiku Hama trilogy (The Most Terrible Time in My Life) - there it was use of "Kanji" characters to communicate across the Chinese-Japanese language gulf. Here. the tap-code saves Maiku's life at the end, in a fight to the death.

I wished throughout I might have seen it in a wide-screen theater, in place of my computer screen. It's viewed a bit in comic-book style - albeit a super-stylish one. And somewhat as with James Bond flicks, we're to sit back and enjoy - not delve too deep into logic of the plot or the actions. As in The Most Terrible Time, characters sometimes show incredible hesitation at the most urgent moments - something I find frankly disruptive.

The nemesis duo from the Yokohama police department is again on Maiku's tail, but this time, the younger one sides with Maiku - even becomes so fed up with with his superior's cynicism he decides to quit the force and become a detective himself.

But despite all the style and well-crafted cinematography, the film both thrilled me and let me down. However good so much of it was, Hayashi is very sparing in his character development. It could have been so much more fun with more involvement from the colorful characters. And why is it that the three pretty victims at the beginning of the flick all look so strikingly different, while throughout the remainder of the film villainess and heroine are virtually indistinguishable in appearance? The film has a strong start

  • seems to promise so much - but, somewhere near mid-point (after the


villain plants Maiku's fingerprints at the scene of a killing), to my taste, the script becomes too problematic - much interesting detail dies unused - the pace falters and I became impatient. Hayashi compensates us with imaginative humor and a funny cinema-verite trick at the end - even a sequence with Maiku cutting a suave figure in blond wig and drag - but the result is less than perfect. I gave it less than a 10... I wrangled between 8 and 9. But the films I evaluated it against were memorable - Maltese Falcon/Curse of the Jade Scorpion stuff - not the run of the mill, soon-forgotten stuff we see advertised around us all the time.

I feel guilty criticizing as I have, since I had a great time watching it! By the way, I was only able to obtain this DVD by way of Amazon Japan.


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