12 user 5 critic

Too Tired to Die (1998)

Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the ... See full summary »


Wonsuk Chin


Wonsuk Chin


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Credited cast:
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Kenji
Mira Sorvino ... Death / Jean
Jeffrey Wright ... Balzac Man
Michael Imperioli ... Fabrizio
Geno Lechner ... Pola
Ben Gazzara ... John Sage
Sandra Prosper ... Black Soldier
David Thornton ... Lulu
Aida Turturro ... Fortune Teller 1 & 2
Hye-su Kim ... Anouk
Drena De Niro ... Waitress
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ako ... Mother
Bill Dawes ... Dante
Lauren Fox ... Susan
Jamie Harrold ... Air France Airport Clerk


Keith is a Japanese twenty-something who is followed by Death in various disguises. When he finally faces her, Death tells him that he has only 12 hours to live and he needs to make the most of it. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Fantasy


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 August 1998 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Tod kann nicht warten See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo


Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


John Sage: I'd like you to come to my place tonight. Anouk and I are hosting a small dinner party and we'd like you to be there. I'll give you the adress. I think it should be fun, if you have nothing better to do. There'll be girls there. Your age.
Kenji: Oh, thank you for your invitation, but what's the use?
John Sage: Well, you say you're gonna die tonight. Don't you think you should live life to the last minute? The last second?
See more »


References ABC's Wide World of Sports (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

Flawed but strangely touching
18 January 2005 | by jeebusenrouteSee all my reviews

The premise for the movie has been done, or at least has been "heard" to have been done in films like "Life or Something Like it. The difference here is what happens, or more specifically what doesn't happen, and in my opinion, this film is far more superior.

Kaneshiro plays Kenji - the tragic hero of the movie, who is informed by Death that he has less than 24 hours to live. I forget the exact number. The subsequent actions follow him around for the next day, and allows the audience to see what he would do with that knowledge.

People may find this movie pretentious or more precisely that "nothing happens." And they're all right. However, if one were to take the time to digest the film after watching it, you will realize the deeper truths that it reveals. Please excuse me if this sounds artsy-fartsy.

If you were told that you had one day to live by Death, I think many of us would react very much like the main character: be consumed by disbelief and inertia and "waste" time by doing nothing. I think it's more hits closer to home than we would like to admit.

Unfortunately, life isn't just filled with earth-shattering revelations and exciting flashy monologues, unlike Scrooge in a Christmas Carol. It's mainly us - filled with our thoughts. We are not the consummate Shakespearian tragic hero with one huge flaw. People have many little ones. And the meaning of life and all our problems can't be solved in one night, no matter how romantic that ideal might be.

Oddly enough, I find this film to be a slice-of-life and quite realistic, despite the premise. Kenji goes into a coffee shop regularly to find a man sitting there alway reading a novel by some great author. Kenji often watches him but is afraid to approach him, to ask him what novel he is always reading. With his newfound knowledge of his impending death, Kenji does things he wouldn't normally do, which is obligatory in such films. However, the revelations that are "revealed" for a lack of a better word, are not big deals, but are instead, little insights to what makes us truly human - pretension, postering, lies and how we pretend to be more than we truly are.

I really liked the casting of Kaneshiro. He has that listless artist look to him, that fits the character very well. However, I really disliked Sorvino, as I thought her whole motive for taking the role was to showcase her knowledge of the Mandarin language.

So ultimately, this is a hard film to review and even describe. It is slow. It can leave viewers with a sad emptiness. For some reason, it reminds of the novel, "Flesh and Blood" by Michael Cunningham and maybe even "The Rules of Attraction" by Bret Easton Ellis. You see the flaws of characters very clearly. You feel as if you hadn't learn anything about them except that they are unmotivated and vain creatures - things which you already are informed in the opening sequence. Therefore, it came as a complete surprise at the end of the movie, the amount of emotion I felt. So I think the film succeeded in drawing emotions that I wasn't even sure were there, perhaps it is the empathy we feel for ourselves and each other.

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