Re: Born (2016) Poster

(2016)

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8/10
Japanese John Wick
ActionFan-Reviews25 June 2018
I hadn't heard of this movie up until I seen a trailer titled "The Japanese John Wick". As a huge fan of the action genre, I was immediately interested. Considering this movie has barely gotten a release outside of some film festivals a couple of years ago, it has got to be one of the best action movies that has just flown under the radar with no notice this year. It is absolutely jam-packed with wall to wall action, with the final 45 minutes being one extended action sequence loaded with some breakneck choreography, camera & stunt work. The story is pretty straight forward with an absolute bad-ass main character. Overall, a must watch for any fan of action films and one of the best of 2018. It puts most western, Hollywood action movies to absolute shame. Highly recommended & underrated hidden gem.

8/10
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10/10
Yuji Shimomura's Re: Born is an evolution of modern action film
andrewmakatsaria13 March 2018
Re: Born is a new Japanese martial arts action thriller film by Yuji Shimomura, probably one of the greatest action coordinators, stuntmen and directors in the small, but entertaining action scene of Japan, re-uniting with Tak Sakaguchi of "Versus" fame and Shimomura's previous and only other feature "Death Trance", the legendary martial artist and the underrated filmmaker have made not only their second and best film to date, but also one of the best action films of the year, whichever year you saw it in, because of its screenings in numerous film festivals starting from 2016.

The story centers on Toshiro Kuroda(played by Tak) who runs a small convenience store in a quiet town in Japan and looking after his adopted daughter, Sachi, but when his blood-soaked, military past catches up to him however, it brings back an old comrade (played by Akio Otsuka, the voice of Solid Snake from MGS series)seeking revenge, with an army of brainwashed soldiers behind him, including a former buddy of Toshiro, known only by his codename, Abyss Walker(played by film's fight choreographer Yoshitaka Inagawa), Toshiro, the reborn ghost, springs back into action with violent vigor. The plot would seem cliche, rope and stereotypically dull to a naked eye, but imagine my surprise when it introduced elements, characters and a tone rarely seen in action movies of this caliber or premise. There's a sense of mystery surrounding Toshiro throughout the film, with the mystery behind him viewed as the stuff of legends, told only as fairy tales, but alas Toshiro comes back to show that those were mere understatements. Some of the best characters in the film are the guys Toshiro knows from his life on the battlefield, the battle scarred and disabled Kenji is one, his backstory is quite tragic and at the same time fairly original in the way his relationship works with Toshiro after his reception of the immobilizing wounds and life in the care home. Akio Otsuka's Phantom was also quite brilliant, the man is just a great actor, capable of portraying menace through subtlety, control through conversation and anger through action. The aforementioned Abyss Walker played by Inagawa, is more of a physical antagonist, delivering a more than worthy adversary to Toshiro, and the buildup to their inevitable showdown, is interesting and exciting. Also impressive was Tak Sakaguchi's daughter, Makoto Sakaguchi, who plays probably the quirkiest character in the film, whose innocence is starkly contrasted and countered by her skills in combat. Overall the familiar premise is saved by characters with enough depth and originality that is missing from a lot of the films in this genre.

What is not missing and would be quite hard to miss is all the glorious throat-slitting, artery-dicing, bladed weapon-oriented action of which there is so much, that at times you wonder whether or not the fight crew is able to keep things fresh and entertaining, and again surprisingly, they do. It's all down to 3 reasons: The brutal, slick, incredibly efficient action choreography by real-life combat instructor and adviser Yoshitaka Inagawa, Sakaguchi's skill in martial arts and will to learn something new and master it and finally Yuji Shimomura's lean, mean and compelling direction, assisted by cinematographer Tetsuya Kudo's fantastic camerawork, that has so much kinetic energy and flair, that the moves, as deadly as they were already, start seeming even more powerful. The action is dynamic as well, with a lot of creativity, where you can tell that the filmmakers wanted to use their newly invented combat system "Zero Range Combat" in every possible environment and scenario, as such we get fights in convenience stores, large city courtyards with crowds of civilians, gigantic rural rain-forests(my personal favorite, the damn thing goes on for nearly 43 breathtaking minutes, yes it was so awesome I counted) as well as a very interesting and claustrophobic fight in a minuscule phone booth. The abundance of weaponry is also impressive, featuring karambits and other knives of so many different shapes and sizes it easily makes Re: Born, the most knife-oriented action film of possibly all time. In addition to Dual Kamas, chopsticks and screwdrivers, a very cute shovel that right after its introduction turns not so cute and an assortment of firearms, and you've got yourself an action film that is locked, loaded and ready for the fight. The soundtrack by Kenji Kawai(composer of Ghost in the Shell, Resident Evil: Vendetta), while not being the best among his work, is adequately tense and operatic.

Re: Born is masterful, the plot is simple in execution, detailed in characterization and in terms of action design, coordination and performance, the film is an example piece of hardcore, beautifully shot, edited and directed action filmmaking. Shimomura has finally become an action director to look out for and even aspire to, while Tak Sakaguchi proves that not only can you teach an old dog new tricks, but in turn he can teach you something back.
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9/10
Incredible action
contact-021367 March 2018
Re:Born is without doubt the movie with the most knife stabs and slices that I have ever seen. Blades flash across the screen in an almost balletic display of close combat martial arts skills, as flesh gives way to metal in a barrage of attacks that will have you wincing on many occasions.

Toshiro (Tak Sakaguchi) is a former special forces operative who now lives a quiet life as a shopkeeper. He is still haunted by the impulses that made him an unstoppable killer, and when his former commanding officer re-emerges from his past seeking revenge, Toshiro is forced to go on a killing spree against a squad of ruthless assassins.

Clocking in at 100 minutes, Re:Born isn't all about the action and gives time for the narrative to play out the backstory and life of Toshiro. However, it is the insane action set-pieces that drive this movie forward and have you looking open mouthed in astonishment at each and every fight scene. There is one particular 30 minute segment where Toshiro and 2 accomplices are making their way up a tree ridden hill facing a seemingly innumerable amount of enemies, that left me breathless by the time the last droplet of blood had been spilled. Toshiro's distinctive pre-fight shoulder movements encapsulating the fluidity of his deadly strikes with blades, fists, and even a folding shovel!

The close combat fighting is exemplified in one particular fight that occurs in a phone booth...while Toshiro continues his call as he fends off the attack of yet another person who is out to kill him.

Re:Born is an action movie with characters that are given the time for you to feel empathy with, all the while never far away from a crazy fight scene where knife will inevitably meet flesh. This deserves to be seen by everyone and looks absolutely superb on this first time Blu-ray release in the UK. Highly recommended.
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5/10
Not The Raid or John Wick.
neilcjenkins17 August 2019
Don't be fooled by the high rated reviews. This is a mediocre action movie that's part John Wick, part Taken and part Metal Gear Solid.

The "hero" is a cardboard cutout with the ability to dodge bullets and put a knife in a neck from nowhere and the villains are comical in the extreme.... one tries to hypnotise the hero to death.

Poor fight scenes where no one seems to see the hero despite him wearing a hoodie that stands out a mile and creaks everytime he moves, and most of it filmed in the woods or in a disused factory, this is a firm pass.
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6/10
Throat slitting knife action like no other I've ever seen
Frame-By-Frame31 March 2018
Fast paced martial arts film with enough originality to be worthy of a recommendation. This is worth watching for the superbly executed fight scenes. The one in the phone booth sums up the style of the movie and is the most memorable for me. As the movie progressed I wondered how the pace could be held to the end, my mind can only take so much, but it just got more and more tense. I found myself almost holding my breath in the final scenes. OK so there is a background story to justify the high octane killing but the strength of the movie is mainly the action. Toshiro nicknamed the legendary Ghost was a former special ops soldier and unstoppable killer. He's now given that up and living as a shopkeeper but is still haunted by his past. His former commanding officer is seeking revenge so Toshiro has to return to killing and deal with what seems like an unlimited number of 'fight to the last' assassins.

My rating 6/10 Highly recommended if you're into exciting martial art knife combat with lots of blood. If not then this may seem like 115 minutes of ridiculous gratuitous killing.
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2/10
No story but actions! Trailer is way better then the movie itself!
xerofig30 March 2018
I was the one who watched the trailer & gave 10 out of 10. But after watching the movie today i am totally disappointed. Movie doesn't have a script, only filled with action. I waited for it so long but ended up watching a lame movie.
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1/10
no story
kusalmaduranga17 May 2018
There is no proper flow in this story . except relay good action . in the first couple of minutes i was thought that is this a budget movie ? but it is good to watch any person who want blooded action seen instead to good story. personally i do not recommend this move for bellow 18 yars old persons
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7/10
One of a kind martial arts action movie despite a familiar plot
yeah-999857 July 2018
Great unique action, sometimes logic-defying it becomes dumb. A very simple story.

If you love John WIck and The Raid, this movie is worth your while.
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7/10
A fighting manga turned into a movie
ipkevin12 May 2018
The story and acting in Re:Born are barely there. A retired super killer is chased down by his old comrades who are all unrealistic weirdo psychos the likes of which you normally only see in manga/anime. The hero doesn't say much and emotes even less, then kills them all. The end.

But here's the thing about Re:Born -- It plays like someone took a couple of years-worth of a sports manga (Japanese comic) about knife-fighting and turned it into a 100-minute movie. Think of a young men's manga series about fighting like Grappler Baki or Tough. Re:Born has all of the hallmarks of this type of manga:
  • Obsessive attention to small details of the sport, in this case being subtle changes in fighting techniques and stances, or use of different strategies and weapons.
  • Each fight being a story in itself
  • Sudden bursts of emotion from otherwise macho super-killer men -- In this case, tough military men suddenly weeping and confiding that their greatest regret was not being able to die for their friend during battle.
  • A succession of outlandish opponents introduced abruptly, all displaying over-the-top sadism or weird, excessive dedication to their sport. Example: One guy in Re:born chains his knife into his forearm tendons so that he'll never lose his weapon!
  • Finally, a hero who is superhumanly talented in the sport, able to dodge bullets like normal people would dodge a paper airplane.


The main difference from these manga is that there is no narrator or thought bubble explaining the intricacies of what's going on. "Oh, he changed his stance to become more limber and dodge the throat strikes!" You just have to pay attention. And pay attention you should, as the fights are extremely fast and intricate. The choreographer did a great job varying the moves and building up the intensity of the fights. You never feel like they are the same, even though they are almost all knife fights. Re:Born has a bunch of small action moments that I don't think I've seen in other movies before.

So, if you like this kind of manga or think you would, then definitely check out Re:Born. If you're a martial arts cinema fanatic who really pays attention to the fine details of a fight scene, then definitely check out Re:Born. If you like Japanese action v-cinema trash films with a nihilistic bent (hello, early Takashi Miike), then Re:Born may be your jam. BUT if you want a clear, cohesive plot, interesting dialogue, and emotional payoffs, then stay the hell away from this movie. It's not for you and was never meant to be.
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1/10
For the first time ever I fast forwarded some scenes.
deloudelouvain21 July 2018
This is my 997th review. I always watched every movie from the first till the last second, even if it was total garbage, and this to have the most honest opinion possible. I did watch this movie from the beginning till the end, but for the first time ever I watched some scenes at the speed of 16 times faster so that I didn't have to endure it much longer. I didn't miss anything of the movie though because some fight scenes are just like twenty minutes long. I don't know where anybody could find any good fighting scenes in this movie because it is so ridiculous that it's hard to describe how bad it is. The story is very simple, there is just none or at least it's very badly told, and the acting is just mediocre. Without spoiling anything from the story, that is inexistant anyway, our local 'hero' is one of those guys that can win fights him alone unarmed against 200 heavily weaponed trained warriors, and that of course without getting a scratch. The imbecility of his opponents is just staggering, as when they watch 'Ghost' taking their friends out one by one, they still attack ghost one by one instead of jumping him with fifteen at the same time. Every time they are just waiting for 'Ghost' to kill one guy to attack him one on one. Not only this is beyond stupid but also they apparently can't shoot or hit 'Ghost' with a machine gun from one meter away. You would think that when you have a machine gun you just shoot like 50 bullets at once to kill the most lethal person you ever met, but no just one single shot at the time, and our local hero just doesn't blink an eye, he just makes a little step to the right to avoid the bullet being fired from reaching distance. That's the kinda things you will watch during the ENTIRE movie. Re: Born is a Japanese movie, so be prepared to hear everybody speaking very aggressively loud or to whisper. I'll never get why they can't just speak normally and act normally. Every Japanese movie I ever saw is that same overacting nonsense. The only good Asian movies I saw where Korean, never Japanese. Don't believe any of the fake positive reviews for this movie, be warned!
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9/10
HIDDEN GEM!
cile-chan11 July 2021
Ever since I watched the Rurouni Kenshin films I've been trying scour the internet to find more japanese films- particularly the action ones and I got lucky to have stumbled upon this hidden gem! Action movie fans will surely not be disappointed. My dad freaking loved it.
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6/10
A FULL-FLEDGED ACTION MOVIE THATS ALL IT IS
Reborn is a full fledged action thriller that will be pleasing to the devoted fans of the genre

But for someone like me who likes to have action and drama in a balanced form....it was impressive but still fell on the average line.

BUT at the same time I knew what I was getting and so I did ignore the fact that it kept the story sidelined and since like i said it's a full fledged action movie I watched it with keeping that in mind

The opening scene was unimpressive

But the first half did mix drama and action sequences well and I was really impressed with the action sequences (it was savage and stylish) in the first half especially the fountain pen scene which was

Its the second half that is jam-packed with lengthy action sequences and sidelines the story completely but the action sequences felt more draggy to me now but was still able to maintain its style...the hand-to-hand combat is highly appreciable and the wave movements were intruiging

Most of the actors laid out convincing performances especially and obv the lead Tak Sakaguchi as TOSHIRO AKA THE LEGENDARY "GHOST"

I'd recommend this movie to hardcore action fans especially to those who likes throat slitting,lengthy action sequences and hand-to-hand combats I won't recommend this to those who will try to find logic in it or to those who..like me... are more interested in action dramas than full-fledged action movie.
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9/10
Well made Action movie Much better than expected ( B+ Movie) My Ratings 9/10
Muhammad_Rafeeq9 February 2020
Overall, I would recommend "Re:Born" to fans of the action genre. It may be short on story, but if you like martial-arts and well-choreographed fight sequences there is a lot to enjoy here. A solid thriller that puts some effort into creating an interesting world, characters that you care about, and some great set-pieces
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8/10
Everybody was knife-fighting
phanthinga19 May 2018
If you still craving for a balls to the walls knife figh scene in The Man From Nowhere or The Raid 2 then Re:Born is the right choice cause the whole movie can describe as a knife-fight fest where none of the characters want to use gun when facing Tak Sakaguchi a man not only got the knife fighting skills on lock but also got the bullet dodging skills so insane that it can put Neo to shame cause in some scene it look like the bullet don't even want to hit him.I don't care what people think but Tak need to do the weird waving movie in any action movie with him from now on
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1/10
Best Tak since Death Trance???
markadmoore4 September 2018
That was one reviewer's claim ( the ???'s are mine ).

To which I can only add: Thank God I've only wasted my time on this one and not any off the others that are, somehow??? even worse!

Please don't waste YOUR time!
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2/10
10/10 for the trailer! Jam packed action!
xerofig4 March 2018
Impatiently waiting for 12th march & will update it according to the movie!
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10/10
Another great and creative film by Sakaguchi !
ouyrtuy18 November 2018
The plot of the film is simple and entertaining. There are a lot of fighting scenes that feature knives. Sakaguchi once again plays an interesting character. Don't let the negative reviews deceive you, Re: Born has plenty to offer if you like martial arts films.
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6/10
Boots
jasonyoungcebu22 September 2018
Anyone know what boots Tak is wearing in the woods?
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8/10
Best Tak since Death Trance
david-warchild16 April 2018
Excellent fight choreography with all the speed and precision we used to dream of in Tak's better movies. It's nice to see him step away from the enjoyable but over the top films of the recent past into the character that rules all, the destructor who doesn't gloat or care but is merely superior. The movie itself is serviceable and keeps the action building to a fine conclusion.
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5/10
Re Bomb
Abdulxoxo16 December 2020
I don't know what the other positive reviews are talking about but I think this movie was poorly made and a bit boring. The story is weak, the characters except the lead are poorly drawn, even the villain is somewhat cartoonish. The characterization of the protagonist is good but makes him somewhat an anti-hero. Moreover, he's given way too much ability, like dodging bullets and singlehandedly taking on an entire army. Infact, the fight scenes are ridiculous; well trained soldiers, well equipped with guns are taking down by only one person, and they never use their guns only knives, why? I'll tell you why, because the protagonist uses knife only! but nevertheless they're choreographed well, and the performances and soundtrack are good.
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8/10
Solid action film with a lot of mystery
www-afzala117 April 2020
Looking through some action flicks that asia has to offer like China & Korea, Japan seemed to lack more of the good live-action films, however I stumbled upon Tak's film on Amazon Prime and decided to watch it.

I must say Tak Sakaguchi proved to be engaging in most of the fight scenes, although the plot was confusing at times, it didn't hinder the film's quality, I can also tell Tak went all out on this one, for this who don't know, he is really fast in real life also. The film also had a decent cast that did there part and was satisfying to watch.

Is this film the greatest action flick? prob not, but this is definitely worth watching, a film that can be described "strange" but not in a bad sense with all it's stylistic choices.
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9/10
(Japanese B+ Movie) My Ratings 9/10
Muhammad_Rafeeq7 March 2020
This was fantastic; i saw other reviewers reference Ninja Assassin & The Raid for this film, which are both favorites of mine, & they were spot on. i loved everything about this movie. if you're fans of the same type of genre, then you'll love this one too.
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