6.3/10
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43 user 103 critic

Big Man Japan (2007)

Dai-Nihonjin (original title)
PG-13 | | Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi | 2 June 2007 (Japan)
Trailer
1:41 | Trailer
An eccentric man living alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo periodically transforms into a 100-foot tall giant in order to defend Japan against similarly sized monsters.

Director:

Hitoshi Matsumoto
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hitoshi Matsumoto Hitoshi Matsumoto ... Masaru Daisatô / Dai-Nihonjin
Riki Takeuchi ... Haneru-no-jû
Ua Ua ... Manager Kobori
Ryûnosuke Kamiki ... Warabe-no-jû
Haruka Unabara Haruka Unabara ... Shimeru-no-jû
Tomoji Hasegawa Tomoji Hasegawa ... Interviewer / Director
Itsuji Itao ... Female Niou-no-jû
Hiroyuki Miyasako Hiroyuki Miyasako ... Stay With Me
Takayuki Haranishi Takayuki Haranishi ... Male Niou-no-jû
Daisuke Miyagawa ... Super Justice
Takuya Hashimoto Takuya Hashimoto ... Midon
Taichi Yazaki Taichi Yazaki ... Daisatô's Grandfather
Shion Machida Shion Machida ... Daisatô's Ex-wife
Atsuko Nakamura Atsuko Nakamura ... Bar Proprietress Azusa
Daisuke Nagakura Daisuke Nagakura ... Daisatô's Grandfather - Younger
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Storyline

An eccentric man aged about 40 lives alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo. He periodically transforms into a giant, about 30 meters tall, and defends Japan by battling similarly sized monsters that turn up and destroy buildings. The giant and the monsters are computer-generated. Written by Ed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action and crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hitoshi Matsumoto is a Japanese comedian. See more »

Connections

Followed by Untitled Big Man Japan Sequel See more »

Soundtracks

Dera amôre
Written by Hitoshi Matsumoto
See more »

User Reviews

 
Big Man Japan tells the tale of Masaru Daisato also known as Big Man Japan, the giant 30 foot tall super hero that defends Japan from invading monsters.
10 April 2013 | by bravelybravesirrobinSee all my reviews

Big Man Japan is one of the weirder films I've seen from Japan and anyone who's passingly familiar with Japanese cinema knows what a statement that is. Starring, written by, directed by and produced by one man comedy auteur Hitoshi Matusmoto, Big Man Japan tells the tale of Masaru Daisato also known as Big Man Japan, the giant 30 foot tall super hero that defends Japan from invading monsters in a similar vein to Ultraman and other Kaiju films.

The twist being that everything in Masaru's life, including his monster fighting, absolutely sucks and the people of Japan hate him and think he's terrible at his job.

That's a brilliant high concept but it's not really the film that Big Man Japan gives us, and partly that's why the film is so odd. It's not the subject matter, although stuff like a giant starfish/vagina monster that stinks is pretty oddball, but rather the tone. Big Man Japan is deadpan to the point that it seems sometimes to be actively taunting the audience with how unfunny it's being. Long sequences of the film are taken up with Masaru eating at a noodle place, driving his scooter, talking about how he likes umbrellas and doing other mundane tasks all filmed in a documentary style with minimal camera movement and subtle acting. It's actively boring at times but it seems to be intentional because the central gag is presenting the absurd and surreal monster battles in as deadpan and ordinary a way as the mundane aspects of Masaru's life. The long boring segments means the eventual pay off of a giant pair of purple pants seems all the funnier. Not that the documentary segments are without humour, particularly the scene with Masaru's daughter in her bunny hat and pixelated face, but it's a subtler humour than the giant electric nipples or enormous cat eared baby spouting poetry. Tolerance for this level of deadpan is likely to be low though so it's certainly not a film with wide appeal.

People have moaned about the special effects for this feature but frankly on the budget this film had, and especially considering they're using motion capture technology I think they look great and even add to the humour since, again they mix the oddball and the deadpan. Being able to see the actor's facial expressions is much more important than a good looking suit or smooth CGI when you're doing this kind of subtle comedy.

One final note, the last ten minutes of this film are absolutely hysterical. Having built up the threat of this unknown red monster with Masaru running away from it and finally having to face it again at the end we're all primed for a typical redemption story where Masaru overcomes his own incompetence and beats the big bad. I won't spoil the ending but suffice it to say the film undercuts this expected trope in the most ludicrous and hilarious manner possible. Much as individual scenes have a slow, tedious, excruciating, agonisingly, long build up to a gag so the film as a whole is 90 minutes of deadpan and 10 minutes of utter unrestrained insanity that had me laughing like a loon.

For more film reviews check out www.wordpress.mummy.com or find out more about at http://about.me/AdamHalls


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

2 June 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Man Japan See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,133, 17 May 2009

Gross USA:

$40,796

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,795,470
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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