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K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces (2008)
"K-20: Kaijin nijû mensô den" (original title)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,343 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 36 critic

Set in a fictional Japanese city in 1949, a master criminal hones in on his latest victim.

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(as Shimako Satô)

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(novels), (screenplay)
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Title: K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces (2008)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Heikichi Endo
Takako Matsu ...
Yoko Hashiba
Tôru Nakamura ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ryôhei Abe
Kanata Hongô ...
Yoshio Kobayashi
Yuki Imai ...
Shinsuke
Takeshi Kaga ...
Mysterious Gentleman
Jun Kaname
Hana Kino
Fumiyo Kohinata
Jun Kunimura ...
Genji
Kazuyoshi Kushida
Tôru Masuoka ...
Inspector Namikoshi
Yutaka Matsushige
Ayumu Saitô
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Storyline

Set in a fictional Japanese city in 1949, a master criminal hones in on his latest victim.

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Release Date:

20 December 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

K-20: The Fiend with Twenty Faces  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable film and interesting social document
14 August 2009 | by (Guam) – See all my reviews

I've watched this film twice on flights to Japan and enjoyed it on two levels. First, by itself, it is a rousing fun action film--superior to most of the US adaptations from graphic novels. The combination of the CGI vistas with realistic local sets works extremely well: you are reminded that you are in an art deco-influenced alternative reality but the immediate surroundings of squalor in the poverty-stricken lower class sections of the city and opulence in the wealthy neighborhoods are entirely plausible. The action and the fights are great and integrated entirely into the plot, and the performances are solid. The only difficulty is that the identity of the villainous K-20 (and, yes, he IS a villain) is probably too easy to guess, while the hero seems at times too dense.

The second level of enjoyment is how the film contributes to an understanding of Japanese culture. The mixed admiration and dislike for the wealthy artistocratic class who dominated Japan during the early 20th century strongly emerges from the film. The depiction of how Japanese people would react to a spectacular, mysterious criminal was also interesting. I could write more, but perhaps someone should try a serious academic analysis. The bottom line is that its fun to watch--much more fun than The Hulk or V--and, at the same time, it is a uniquely Japanese take on the whole vigilante against an unjust society theme. It is definitely NOT a Japanese "imitation" of anything.


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