Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A Cheerful Gang Turns the Earth

Dir: Tetsu Maeda
Starring: Koichi Sato, Takao Osawa

Have you ever been really disappointed by a film? Most likely it was when the live action version of your favourite comic wasn't as good as you hoped, or when a sequel just didn't match the original (damn you, The Sting 2!), or possibly when you'd read such good things about a film and had such respect for the staff and stars of a film that you built yourself into a frenzish fever that the movie couldn't possibly live up to.

Well, A Cheerful Gang was none of those things for me. But I was left disappointed - it starts so well, and then falls flat on its face after having tied its own shoelaces together. The early part of the film introduces us to a cheerful gang of bank robbers - larger than life but human at the same time. An exciting and interesting bank robbery takes place followed by a dramatic twist - the robbers get robbed.

And then things get boring because they try to rob the robbers, and then they try to set up the robbers, and then they make a really convoluted plan using a criminal mastermind, but all the time someone's watching them, and the police are in on it too... throw in a few kidnappings and a truly dull romantic story and you have A Cheerful Gang. Plus the plot is more holey than St. Augustine.

Koichi Sato is always gonna be fun to watch (check out The Magic Hour for more Sato greatness), and the visual style of the film is quite entertaining. But the story... the story! It tries way too hard, when something simple would have been so much fun. Too bad.

Rating: Good!

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