A revolver-wielding stranger crosses paths with two warring clans who are both on the hunt for a hidden treasure in a remote western town. Knowing his services are valuable to either side, he offers himself to the clan who will offer up the largest share of the wealth.
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A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
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Sequels are often poorer when compared to the originals. Zebraman is an exception. The second movie builds an entire world around the Zebraman concept to the point that the color scheme is almost entirely black and white. Instead of weaving the superhero aspect into present day Japan Zebraman 2 takes place in a strange future with plenty of Orwellian vibes. Dystopia matched with oppression of the vaguely Fascist kind are brought to life with flashy visuals and fast paced scenes.
The movie takes Zebraman and turns it into a mythology of sorts with a strong polarity between good and evil. The campy aspect of the franchise is upgraded to include a lot of sexiness and tight music videos spliced into the video and even connected with the plot. At points this sequel's main point seems to be to promote the music but strangely enough it works remarkably well.
There is still plenty of corny humor but the overall tone is serious with even something like social critique with 'Zebra time', five minutes per day in which any violent act is permitted. The greatest innovation has got to be the new villain, a very attractive girl with black latex outfits worthy of any dominatrix worth her salt. She is also responsible for delivering the song around which so much of the story revolves. Her performance adds a flair of traditional comic book evilness and spices things up.
Some points do not seem to jive all that well with the original, back is Asano, the little kid befriended by Zebraman, now all grownup but for some reason Zebraman's family is never of again nor does he even ask about it. The final battle is as epic as it to be expected but followed by an hilarious conclusion.
Zebraman 2 is everything that the first one was and then much more. It is bigger, louder and maybe even crazier. Recommended for fans of the original but avoid the spin-off at all costs.
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