The psychopath Arano arrives in Tokyo with a bag full of knives with the intention of killing Yakuza. He gets close to the smalltime gangster Kamijo, who was assigned by the old Yakuza Boss... See full summary »
The psychopath Arano arrives in Tokyo with a bag full of knives with the intention of killing Yakuza. He gets close to the smalltime gangster Kamijo, who was assigned by the old Yakuza Boss to kill the gangster Matsunaga, but he is not a killer. When Arano kill two American drug dealers, Kamijo steals the boom box with drugs. But the young prostitute Alice convinces Arano to rob the drugs and travel with her to Fiji. When she disappears with the drugs, Arano begins his rampage against Yakuza. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A bit too impoverished but certainly an interesting film
Those expecting a Takashi Miike-style extreme cinema take on the yakuza will probably be disappointed. The film does have violence (and would earn an R rating if released over here), but its really nothing worse than most American outputs. "Pornostar" (still have no idea why they chose that title) is an interesting psychological piece and youth commentary as opposed to an action film (the American title "Tokyo Rampage" is rather misleading also for these reasons). Its not in the league of Miike or Chan Wook-park, but those into the new wave of Asian cinema will enjoy it.
The film's main flaw is that, while I champion low-budget film-making, this seems a bit too impoverished at times. There are certain sequences that would've required a slightly bigger budget to work. In particular the gun shots are laughably fake. That doesn't detract however from this being an interesting and unique film. The plot itself is original, and while the main characters and themes aren't fully developed, all the minor flaws are forgivable because of how much talent Toshiaki Toyoda shows as a director. His sense of pacing is perfect (alternating between quick and slow when needed) and the cinematography has a few impressive shots. "Pornostar" is far from perfect and rather half-baked at times, but an interesting failure is always preferable to successful tripe. (7/10)
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