In the aftermath of a major earthquake under Suraga Bay, Misaki (a young girl) and Toshiro (a pilot of a deep sea submarine) are rescued from a ruined city street just as leaking gasoline ignites. Reiko Abe arrives just in time, lowered from a helicopter. Scientists predict that Japan will sink within 40 years, due to subduction of a tectonic plate to the west. However, Dr. Tadokoro, who leads an oceanic scientific team that includes Toshiro, calculates that this will happen far sooner, in only 338.54 days. He presents his findings to Prime Minister Yamamoto who decides to create a new department for impending disaster relief assigning Saoro Takamori to cover the new duties, since of all his ministers she will take it seriously but also bring "heart" to the process. As further earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions devastate Japan, the government pleads with other countries to take refugees. Yamamoto flies to China to negotiate relocations there, but his plane is destroyed by a... Written by
Earlier this year (March 2011), Japan was hit by one of the biggest and most deadly earthquakes in living memory; this eerily prophetic film from 2006 portrays a similar event in its opening scenes, but takes things several stages further as it progresses, eventually depicting what might happen if the entire country were to be gradually dragged under the ocean as the result of shifting tectonic plates.
A big budget remake of the 1973 disaster movie Tidal Wave (based on the novel 'Japan Sinks' by Sakyo Komatsu), Sinking Of Japan unsurprisingly features catastrophic mayhem on a grand scale, all impressively rendered in state-of-the-art CGI. The devastation on display is quite simply jaw-dropping, with entire cities shaken to the ground, massive ships flipped around on turbulent seas like toys in a tub, and volcanoes spewing tons of lava and ash.
Sadly, the spectacular destruction of an entire civilisation only makes up a small percentage of the movie's massive 135 minute running time; the rest of the film consists of less than scintillating drama as a selection of characters go through predictable emotional turmoil as they face a very uncertain future (or no future at all!). All of this is pretty uninspired stuff, and matters don't get much better even as a few brave scientists devise a desperate plan to prevent their nation from completely disappearing off the face of the Earth.
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