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Some readers may know what I call "code visualization" movies like "Beautiful Mind" where our hero can visualize numeric relationships. This is supposed to make mathematics cinematic. When they masquerade as serious films, they are a disaster. But when the intent is silly, it can become fun.
Here we have what probably is a Japanese TeeVee movie, on of a series based on the mysteriously powerful investigative unit section 5. Agent 507 is our visual mathematical codebreaker. All the members of this unit wear identical black suits, ties and hats. In fact all the gangs wear uniform clothing.
The idea here is actually interesting. Set in the recent past, agent 507 is on a hunt to decipher an undecipherable code, as a matter of spiritual perfection. There are words about uncovering meaning communication as a quest. The code happens to be tattooed on the back of a beautiful Chinese nightclub singer in Shanghai. The horror of Japanese invasion during WWII is invoked, as the code is linked to lost soldier payroll from this period.
A Chinese gang is involved, and a mysterious protector who invariably kills all interlopers with a shot between the eyes.
Our skinny guy 507 has all sorts of James Bond-like gizmos, but miniaturized.
It starts slowly, but builds all sorts of complex layers. There is a vast treasure meant to fund a new Japanese war against the Chinese. Characters that we know turn out to be linked in a complex set of familial loyalties. There are doublecrosses and multiple codes, loves and too many showdowns to even remember. It is about a cheesy as it gets. But for what it is, it is better than any of the encounters with Indiana Jones or Nick Cage's treasure hunter.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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