Set in a post apocalyptic Yokohama where the population is kept under rigid control by a half crazed mayor, Riki Takeuchi is a hard boiled cop and Show Aikawa a mellowed out drifter that hooks up with a gang of rebels. When the gang kidnap Takeuchi's son, the wheels are set in motion that leads to an inevitable showdown.Written by
This was a surprise - I was expecting something along the lines of the original DOA, not having seen any of the sequels. What you actually get is a slowish, rather beautiful, enigmatic science fiction film, rather like a Philip K Dick novel in that its central themes are love and the problem of how to be human in a mechanical world.
The film borrows the notion of 'replicants' from Blade Runner (I can't remember if they were called that in PKD's source novel) but takes the idea further than that highly over-rated film, bringing us characters who don't realise that they're replicants battling replicants who are becoming human, ending with a strange metal-morphosis straight out of 'Tetsuo'. The story moves along smoothly but never really kicks into high gear. We're in 2346, in Yokohama, where the gay Mayor Wu has made the consumption of a birth control drug that destroys love a compulsory act. Babies born due to defiance of the law are destoyed, Herod-style. Riki Takeuchi (who is getting a bit porky these days!) is Wu's enforcer.
Puzzlingly, he has a small son. He goes into action against some revolutionaries and has all of his most cherished illusions destroyed...
Visually, the film is quite lovely, even though it seems to have been made (as per usual with Takashi) very speedily. It also seems to have been shot on some kind of video process, which doesn't hold up well on the big screen but won't bother anybody watching it at home.
The ending is unfathomable even by Takashi's standards, and rather abrupt. Still, there's nobody else like him...
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