Monday, August 10, 2009


Big Man Japan (A-) is unlike any movie I've ever seen. And I'm willing to bet that it'll be unlike anything you've ever seen. Sort of like a Japanese version of Hancock, this tripped-out little flick takes the form of a documentary and is easily one of the strangest, most creative, most visually transfixing things I've seen in a long time. Big Man Japan is all about a guy who descends from a long line of superheroes, a city protector of sorts, a guy who when electrocuted at a government facility can blow himself up to Godzilla-like proportions in order to fight off all of Japan's monsters that want to destroy the city. A spoof of the superhero genre, a comment on reality television, and just plain demented, Big Man Japan explores some of the now familiar themes of responsibility, vigilante justice, and the public's need for saviors in the same way that The Dark Knight, Watchmen, and Hancock touched upon. The fight sequences in Big Man Japan are the stuff of an acid/mushroom trip: the animation is surreal yet tangible, the sounds are ear piercing, and the tone is just wild enough to give you a buzz without the need for illicit impairment. There is a soulful, mournful quality to Big Man Japan, especially during the protracted opening, and the film would have merely been a one-joke-stunt had the script not have been as fleshed out as it is. You won't see anything like this movie all year. Or any year. Seek it out.

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