Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Marutai no Onna

Dir: Juzo Itami
Starring: Nobuko Miyamoto, Yuji Murata
Year: 1996

I've been going through a bit of a Juzo Itami season lately, mainly due to the fact that my local Tsutaya (the Japanese equivalent of Blockbuster, or Netflix) is promoting his films at the moment. There recommendations are normally quite strong, but I have to admit I didn't go along with the Michael Bay promotion.

Itami's Onna series has several incarnations, all with loosely the same cast. Miyamoto is cast as the Onna (or lady), this time playing an actress who witnesses a murder. Things turn nasty when the murder is connected to a cult, which soon targets her as their next hit.

It's a tried and tested formula for a film that doesn't have any major surprises, but works well thanks to a good sense of humour and a likable cast (although Tachibana, the chief detective, doesn't really have the charisma of a typical lead man).

Supa no Onne is still my favourite in this series as it is just plain fun and doesn't bother with the Yakuza-bashing of Mimbo no Onna or the anti-cult themes of Marutai. All the same, Marutai is...

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