|Index||7 reviews in total|
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)
The psychopath Arano (Kôji Chihara) arrives in Tokyo with a bag full of
knives with the intention of killing Yakuza. He gets close to the
smalltime gangster Kamijo (Onimaru), who was assigned by the old Yakuza
Boss (Akaji Maro) to kill the gangster Matsunaga (Tetta Sugimoto), 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 (Rin Ozawa) convinces Arano to rob the drugs and travel with her to Fiji. When she disappears with the drugs, Arano begins his rampage against Yakuza.
"Poruno Sutâ", a.k.a. "Tokyo Rampage", is a stylish Japanese movie with pointless violence of the Japanese youth. The nihilist and alienated lead character has a confused motivation for his crime spree Yakuza is not needed but any development of the reason of his behavior. The graphic violence is very well choreographed and the special effects work. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): Not Available
"Tokyo Rampage" (1998) or "Poruno sutâ" is a neo-noir in critic John
Grant's long list. The movie is mainly existential, mostly showing a
criminal world among youth, with a link to the older generation of
yakuza in the form of one older boss. Ordinary values are almost
absent, supplanted by both nihilism and quests for money gotten through
drugs. There are three gangs shown, and they are anything but
traditional yakuza but they carry on the name and the underworld
mentality. They also carry on the tradition of yelling, knives,
confrontations and blood.
The protagonist is played by Chihara Junia, definitely an interesting character in a hooded raincoat and carrying a black bag. He confronts yakuza, telling them "You're useless". His stony face scares them. When he meets a young girl who is a thief and she complains about the noise hurting her ears in a cafe, he gives her a knife and tells her "Cut them off". He speaks very little. He boldly confronts other young yakuza and intrudes into their business. One gang is run by an older man who wants a killing done by the young hoods who surround him. They are reluctant. Another gang of yakuza are really kids with skateboards.
The cinematography, colors, pacing and settings create a measured hypnotic state. The movie has style. Its violence rises as it moves on. The direction is strong. The movie has some power. It pulled me in. The plot is understated and dialog is minimal, but you gradually figure out what's going on. This is clearly a neo-noir that expresses a dark theme about values among youthful generations.
Tokyo Rampage aka Pornostar is an intensely suspenseful horror film revolving around murder and betrayal within modern day Yakuza. The film starts off with a brief interaction between two unsuspecting characters leading to the backdrop the entire film is developed around. As the film progresses the characters slowly become more nihilistic and violent. Murder becomes more and more unsuspecting and brutal leading to a climax of gargantuan bloodshed. The dramatic elements are well developed centering around a theme of violent nihilism with dark and perverse antiheroes. It is surely a classic of extreme Asian cinema and while being as brutal as it is complete, the most disturbing elements of the film are its intense and frank comparison to modern day youth. It ends with a triumphant bang which can only be described as everything the film promises to be. There are no stones left unturned in this classic murderous film which I feel can only be described as the Asian version of Scarface. Bloody and violent, twisted, and perverse, it is obvious that if you are as fanatical about Asian Cinema as I am you will have zero difficulty adding this to your must watch list.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The story is about this weird guy (I think his name is Arano) arriving in
Shibuya, Tokyo, who dislikes useless elements, thus eliminating them. He
never quite defines the term useless (in fact he hardly talks at all), but
yakuza (Japanese Mafia) seem to fit in there pretty clearly.
Funny though how the yakuza admire him for his courage rather than hate him for his gangster-killing.
The film starts out rather well. The first scene in which the main character is introduced is great (watch it on a big screen and turn up the volume). The character is truly unique, not completely cool (he acts rather clumsy falling down again and again trying to learn how to skate), but definitely cold. The actor fits just perfectly, at least as far as the facial expression is concerned. But somehow the film slows down towards the end, not that it got boring, the first half was just somewhat better.
Still, it's a good movie. I have yet to find out what the title has to do with the story.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Still don't get why it's title "pornostar". The talking female characters seemed all wishing for a "love" trip to Fiji. Does the director tries to hint us they are drug addicts somehow? That girl in bed seemed not able to understand the guy was on the phone and the other girl seemed quite sincere when talking about selling the acid but ended up using it herself...(i disagree she was a prostitute like suggested in an earlier post by someone) The stabbing scene in the garage was indeed very brutal. Interesting to note that he pulled out the yellow envelop in 1 piece :) The message from the filmmaker was very clear and i enjoyed it.
This film is very slow, it's about a disillusioned youth that prowls around
killing Yakuza. There isn't really a plot, just critisism of the society
that Japanese youth grows up in. There is strong symbolism in the film, but
I found it quite hard to understand all the time.
I think there are films who deal with this subject better, never the less the film is worth seeing.
|Plot summary||Ratings||External reviews|
|Parents Guide||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|