6.9/10
239
3 user 7 critic

Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary (2004)

Yeokdosan (original title)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
The life of Korean-born wrestler Rikidôzan, who, after being barred from Japanese wrestling because of his ethnic origins, became a sensation in the United States in the 1950s.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pairan (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Kangjae, a small time gangster receive a news that his wife Failan is dead. Failan, his wife who he never met.

Director: Hae-sung Song
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Cecilia Cheung, Dae-Hoon Jeong
The Foul King (2000)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Dae-Ho is an unproductive bank clerk who is late to work every morning and the object of his manager's frustrations. He was a fan of TV wrestling as a child, but can't get out of a headlock... See full summary »

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Sang-Myeon Park, Kang-ho Song, Ho-kyung Go
Public Enemy (2002)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ruthless cop Chul-joong and a merciless killer in raincoat run into each other in a small alleyway and form a fatal bond. A free-for-all fight occurs by coincidence on a rainy street. A ... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Suk Kang
Stars: Kyung-gu Sol, Sung-jae Lee, Shin-il Kang
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Four disaffected youths rob a gas station but find their plans complicated and sidetracked before the night is through.

Director: Sang-Jin Kim
Stars: Sung-jae Lee, Oh-seong Yu, Seong-jin Kang
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fifth-grade classroom takes on a political structure which reflects Korea's history of coups and dictatorial regimes.

Director: Jong-won Park
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Kyoung-In Hong, Goo Shin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A suicidal girl started to visit a convicted murderer awaiting execution every Thursday.

Director: Hae-sung Song
Stars: Hyeong-seong Jang, In-gi Jeong, Yeong-suk Jeong
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

3 old problematic sibling must living together with their elderly mother. They're not children anymore, so what will happen?

Director: Hae-sung Song
Stars: Hae-il Park, Hyo-jin Kong, Je-mun Yun
Masquerade (2012)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae orders his trusted councilor Heo Kyun to find a royal body double. He hires Ha-seon, a peasant mimic who bears a perfect ... See full summary »

Director: Chang-min Choo
Stars: Byung-hun Lee, Seung-ryong Ryu, Hyo-ju Han
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman moves to the town where her dead husband was born. As she tries to fit in, another tragic event overturns her life.

Director: Chang-dong Lee
Stars: Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song, Yeong-jin Jo
Broken (2014)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sang-Hyun, who lost his wife, lives with his daughter Soo-Jin. One day, Soo-Jin is raped and murdered. Frustrated by the lack of progress in his daughter's case, Sang-Hyun gets a mysterious... See full summary »

Director: Jeong-ho Lee
Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Sung-min Lee, Jun-Yeong Seo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A talented but obese girl, who ghost-sings for a not-so-talented pop star, undergoes extensive plastic surgery to become a slender beauty with a new identity.

Director: Yong-hwa Kim
Stars: Jin-mo Ju, Ah-jung Kim, Dong-il Sung
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Arms trafficker Hyuk and Young-chun are practically brothers and nothing can separate them. When the two managed to escape from North Korea, they left behind Hyuk's younger brother Chul. ... See full summary »

Director: Hae-sung Song
Stars: Jin-mo Ju, Seung-heon Song, Kang-woo Kim
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Rikidozan
...
Aya
...
Takeo Kanno
Masato Hagiwara ...
Yuzuru Yoshimachi
Masakatsu Funaki ...
Mashahiko Imura
Keiji Mutô ...
Harold Sakata
...
Kim Myon-Gil
Jun-ho No ...
Kim Il - Kintaro Ohki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jun Akiyama ...
Kokichi Endo
Dae-Sung Choi
Denden
Delcea Mihaela Gabriela
Makoto Hashi
Shinya Hashimoto ...
Azumanami
Munenori Iwamoto ...
Kenichi Tamura
Edit

Storyline

The life of Korean-born wrestler Rikidôzan, who, after being barred from Japanese wrestling because of his ethnic origins, became a sensation in the United States in the 1950s.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 December 2004 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Rikidozan  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie of a foreigner who became a Hero. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
how one man changed a nation
29 May 2015 | by (Japan) – See all my reviews

Rikidozan is a fascinating figure, a man whose very existence captures the schizophrenic love-hate of the self imbibed in the Japanese psyche. Emerging at a crucial period in Japan's post-war turmoil, he galvanised national pride by defeating bigger, stronger Americans one after another. The naivety of the ordinary masses buying into this manufactured folklore seems twee observed from this distance, but hunger for some kind of hope and national pride in those desperate times is impossible for current generations to imagine.

The film does a good job of depicting Rikidozan's rise to fame, his desire to succeed against discrimination and hierarchical relations, and the flaws in the man's character that would contribute to his downfall. Kyung-gu Sol in the lead perfectly captures the character. His Japanese is flawless, and he exhibits the hybridity of Rikidozan in his every gesture. Tatsuya Fuji as the oyabun who funds Rikidozan's path to glory is something we rarely see in films about Japan, a well-rounded, complex yakuza. He sees Riki as a business investment, but also has a surrogate parent-like affection for the man. But he never forgets his role as boss and mentor, and one of the tensions of the story is quite how long this man will go on protecting Riki.

Miki Nakatani as put-upon wife Aya is quiet and mysterious. The film becomes more interesting every time she appears, but unfortunately her role is under-written, and the part does now do her acting skills justice.

The first 60 minutes expertly chronicle Riki's rise, the odds he faces, and the significance of all this to post-war Japan. In the last 30 minutes the film sags and a sentimental tone creeps in. This culminates in a last scene that literally looks like it was shot in a giant snow-globe, with toe-curling melodramatic music to match. A tighter edit, and more cinematic approach, could have made this tale truly memorable. However, while the story of Rikidozan grips you, the patchy pacing and average technical skills on display are slightly disappointing.

At a time when banal nationalism is rampant in Japan, Rikidozan's story is a sobering reminder of the complex realities that confound Japanese identity. On a human scale, it is also a competent depiction of how one man's hubris can lead to a fall.


0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Akiyama nathanielfreedman
Discuss Rikidozan: A Hero Extraordinary (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?