BIG MAN JAPAN
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
Imagine a Japan that doesnít have Godzilla to battle monsters, but instead has a really big man in blue underwear. Yep, thatís the plot, but itís much better than it sounds I swear.
Is it good movie?
I ask you again to imagine. Close those droopy eyes. Relax. Breathe deeply. Imagine a monster movie without any worthy monsters. Monsters with human faces, goofy bodies, and no real purpose. Monsters with problems. Monsters that have no idea of the mayhem and destruction they cause. And what if the hero fighting against them was a disillusioned, 40-something nobody whom no one respected and sprayed graffiti on his home and treated him like a villain instead of the government tool he is. Done imagining? Then you can picture Big Man Japan.
Big Man Japan is probably one of the most obvious titles in quite some time but it speaks volumes as to what to expect. This is more than a regular monster movie. Itís a modern, commercially driven look at the genre that will (in parts) remind of Will Smithís Hancock though without the budget or the Hollywood cheese. Whatís best about Big Man Japan is itís very low key and unassuming comedic documentary style that helps bring a sense of realism to a film that otherwise would spin quickly out of control. By adding a camera crew to follow the hero around while constantly bugging him with questions, it makes you feel for the guy. Heís life is so dull, so uneventful unless itís time to ďbake.Ē Time to get big and battle the bad guy. Everything is played so dry, so straight-faced that at times itís a little difficult to discern whatís supposed to be humorous and whatís not.
Just so weíre clear, the Big Man isnít big all the time. Instead, heís a regular Joe whoís sorta like The Incredible Hulk. The government can make him supersized with a jolt or two of electricity. And like the last two Hulk flicks, director and star Hitosi Matumoto incorporates CGI instead of a Godzilla-like man-in-a-suit. The CGI, while not the greatest in the world, still is quite effective and playful. Itís good enough to make you believe (nearly) in what youíre watching.
Whatever Matumoto was smoking when he came up with this plot Iíd like to know because Big Man Japan is one damn odd movie. And by the time it nears the end, well things get really freakin strange. Every time it feels as if you have a handle on the film, itís takes more than a left turn. It drives straight off the highway and onto undisturbed land.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen presentation with subtitles.
Audio: Presented with the power of Japanese 5.1 sound.
Deleted Scenes: A whopping 52 minutes of deleted scenes!! Most I can understand why they were cut as they nearly are all interviews or simple, uneventful sequences.
Making of Big Man Japan: Over an hour of scenes of the production being put into place and made. Now to really make things confusing, watch the Making Of with the optional Japanese commentary. Thatís a lot Japanese going on at one time! But in all seriousness, this is a cool as way to show the process of creating the film.
Itís not perfect by any means, but Big Man Japan is fresh, unique, and creative, three words that are tough to associate with any film these days. Plus, it's pretty damn funny in parts.