Shiritsu tantei Hama Maiku: Namae no nai mori (Video 2002) Poster

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7/10
Sort of like a reincarnation of Mike Hama--but a bit better
MartinHafer2 May 2011
Warning: Spoilers
A decade before, Masatoshi Nagase starred in three 'Mike Hama' (or 'Mike Hammer') detective films as well as a spin-off TV series. I've seen all the films and felt very conflicted about them. On one hand, they had a neat quirkiness but on the other, they lost the quirkiness as each film progressed and they became dark and bloody--for me an inexplicable combination. Here in "Mike Yokohama: A Forest With No Name", Nagase is back and his character is very, very similar to Mike Hama. Sure, he's missing his old Nash Metropolitan auto and a bit of the quirkiness is also missing. But, on the positive side for me, the plot is less grisly than the Hama films and I liked the finished product--even if the ending was very vague (which will no doubt irritate some).

Like the Hama films, it begins with him being broke and owing a lot of bills--particularly to a local mobster. But he sees a chance to get ahead when a rich guy inexplicably comes to lowly Mike Yokohama for help. It seems that the rich man's daughter has fallen in with some weird cult-like organization. Mike goes undercover by entering this same spiritual retreat and finds that it's a bit hard to describe. While it is non-religious and no obvious thought-control is exerted on the residents, everyone there acts bizarre--like it IS a cult. And Mike obviously does not fit in with the program. However, as the film progresses, the viewer is sucked into the mystery--and it ends with a confusing finale that will no doubt leave the viewer confused and questioning the meaning of it all. I liked this but as I said above, some might feel irritated by this uncertainly. I did like the story and appreciated that the mystery and not gore were front and center--making for me, a much better sort of film than the earlier ones.
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7/10
May contain spoilers, but i don't think so.
brokendreams719016 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
See, the first time through this movie will leave you saying, "What the toilet bowl did I watch this for?" The quality is pretty bad, some of the acting is bad. Generally, the movie isn't all too eye opening. In fact, I fell asleep my first time through. But since I spent $3.75 on a blind pick (the guy on the front + "crime has a new enemy" written on the cover made this so)I had to watch it. So I went back and re-watched it. If you like quiet, slow movies here's what's in store for you:

Story: As it says on the back...Mike Yokohama is a private investigator who comes across a job where he must retrieve a girl from a get away. At first glance this might look violent. You're wrong. This movie had almost as much violence as a man's morning ritual. The point of the movie wasn't about violence and there was some deeper meaning which made the movie somewhat worthwhile.

Video: Horrible. I hated the quality of it. The movie is really slow so it can put you to sleep really easily under the right circumstances. The quality gives an 80's feel to it.

Audio: Pretty good, it's subtitled so you don't have to worry about a crappy English dubbing. The music was pretty nice, but it gave a drowsy feel which helped put me to sleep the first time.

Overall: You might notice I've been negative about the movie. Well, it wasn't something that gave me an immediate satisfaction. The ending leaves questions. Here is what I recommend: See this movie. Chances are you'll catch it as a rental for a while. It's kinda fun but there are a lot of things which are deeper than the eye can see. ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. I gave this movie a 7 because I laughed at the end, a lot. In fact, it gives a sense of satisfaction. I recommend this movie to people who are willing to put aside some poor quality an enjoy a nice movie which reflects some bigger things.

P.S. There is a lot of symbolism in it. Look at element before you decide on the movie. Note: The end takes a few seconds to click.
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5/10
Dream Dreams More Amusing
frankgaipa23 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Dropped in this rental one lazy night, hardly remembering what I'd ordered. Knew it was another Maiku hama. At least one of the "Mike Hammers" had played the San Francisco Film Fest one year, and amused mildly. Expecting farce, I watched the grainy nighttime opening segue to a really seventies set up: father seeks daughter's rescue from cult. Rockford. Cult members eschew names for numbers. The Prisoner. Finally I grabbed the sleeve. How old? What? 2002? No! Yes. Not '72. And no I hadn't mis-seen the director's name. Shinji Aoyama, two years after Eureka, not, apparently, some freshman effort. Then came (small spoiler) the tree. No, this one isn't lethal, but a line or two the cult-mother doctor speaks to Maiku make the allusion plain enough. When did Kurosawa release Charisma? 1999, not just before this but before even Eureka.

Not quite awful but, like a lot of seventies trash, dreamy, lazy, naive, lulling, simple, dark, something to fall asleep to and dream dreams more amusing.
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