In 1868, after the end of the Bakumatsu war, the former assassin Kenshin Himura promises to defend those in need without killing. Kenshin wanders through Japan with a reverse-edged sword ... See full summary »
Shishio has set sail in his ironclad ship to bring down the Meiji government and return Japan to chaos, carrying Kaoru with him. In order to stop him in time, Kenshin trains with his old master to learn his final technique.
Kenshin Himura goes up against pure evil Makoto Shishio who is attempting to overthrow the Meiji government. The fate of the country hangs in the balance as Kenshin Himura takes up the sword that he vowed to never draw again.
A series of bombings occur and police track a lead, where they find the male protagonist Ichiro Suzuki and believe he is somehow involved. After psychiatric evaluation and rigorous ... See full summary »
A man is stabbed to death in Tokyo's Nihonbashi area. The victim staggers with the knife still in the wound for eight minutes before collapsing under the winged statues of two Kirin on the ... See full summary »
In the year 1590, powerful daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi nears his plan to unify all of Japan, but he comes across a floating fortress known as Oshi Castle. Narita Nagachika must use his army to defend the castle.
Saburo (Shun Oguri) is a high school student good in sports, but not very good with his studies. One day, Saburo travels back in time and arrives in the Sengoku period of 1549. There, ... See full summary »
A Thoroughly Entertaining Contemporary Sci-Fi Thriller
Set in an unidentified period during the early twenty-first century, Platinum Data, unlike many other outlandish science fiction themed features, develops a believable plot that has the potential of becoming a reality. Before viewing the film, I was personally concerned that it may exhibit too many similarities with other features, like Minority Report, however, the film uniquely conveys a thoroughly convincing morality tale.
Before watching Platinum Data, it should be known the feature contains infrequent action scenes, instead, being portrayed as more of a dramatic thriller. Even a long chase scene does not exhibit any extraordinary stunts, the characters being restricted by their own physical means, which efficaciously allows audiences to view the film without having to frequently suspend their disbelief. The film draws viewers in with its intellectual script, the opening of the film being not only engrossing, but exciting, the plot absorbing the audience's attention without any need for ridiculously intense action.
Although there are effects, these are primarily used in regards to the technology at the disposal of the Special Analysis Research Institute (SARI), the body behind what is dubbed Platinum Data, while the musical score is a combination of retro meets digital, and for the most part, efficaciously benefits the plot.
The feature begins with Detective Asama (Etsushi Toyokawa) gaining the assistance of SARI in regards to a violent serial killer the police are unable to apprehend on their own. A man who is as open-minded as he is intelligent, the detective immediately realizes the acquisition of the DNA that assisted the case was perhaps illegal, though, as Kagura (Kazunari Ninomiya), a top scientist in the field of DNA research explains, this will soon be redundant as the Japanese government begins to amend the constitution to support these new policing methods.
In so doing, despite DNA being heralded by many of the characters as representing who we are, the film questions what makes up an individual person, which is effectively demonstrated through the characters, many of them being more than what is immediately imagined at face value, the production also questioning the legalities of how far governments should be inclined to go when it comes to protecting citizens. However, some of the more fantastical ideas regarding DNA required further explanation to be accurately ascertained.
Moving on, the aforementioned leads are not only exemplary in their roles, but portray characters that are genuinely likable. After the opening case, in which SARI begins to requisition DNA from everyone, Detective Asama is assigned to investigate the murder of Saki (Kiko Mizuhara), an autistic savant, whose genius mind assisted in promulgating SARI's policing methodologies, and her brother, Kosaku (Soko Wada), both of whom deserved much larger roles.
The murder is committed in a style similar to a serial killer who is, as of yet, unidentifiable, being referred to as an NF (Not Found (in Genetic Database)), thus revealing a probable flaw in the plot - how does SARI ensure every citizen voluntarily provides a DNA sample? After additional DNA evidence from the crime scene is analyzed, surprisingly, Kagura becomes the lead suspect, and in order to discover the truth, is forced to become a fugitive from justice, whilst the organization he proudly worked for begins to hunt him down, Detective Asama working alongside high raking administrator Shiga (Katsuhisa Namase) to apprehend him, though questions regarding Shiga's intentions are especially prominent. Receiving assistance from an initially unidentifiable woman (Anne Watanabe), Kagura comes to realize the murder he is accused of is linked to an unimaginable conspiracy.
Though thought provoking and deeply interesting, there are some lacking definitive answers over the course of the plot, one of which is directly tied to the primary murder case, this particular part of the film unfortunately taking away from other sub-plots, some of which include very beautiful, touching moments. With this in mind, there is a love story buried in the film that deserved to be further explored on screen, in order to heighten the beauty of this particular romance.
Although occasionally predictable, and despite Mr. Ninomiya and Mr. Toyokawa commanding the attention of the audience, and in so doing, prohibiting other characters from being further fleshed out, Platinum Data is an intriguing feature, that combines investigative policing practices with questionable ethics, to paint an image of the future that may one day soon be a terrifying reality.
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