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                               Film Review
           K20 - Legend of the Mask


Starring: Takeshi Kaneshiro

Directed and Written by : Sato Shimako - 2009

              Copyright © CN ENTERTAINMENT / Golden Scene /K-20 Film Partners 2009

 K-20 is most likely one of the most enjoyable films i have seen for a time even though it does have some sad moments of poverty and such like in this alternate reality set in 1949 in Japan where World War II has been avoided.

Set in the Imperial capitol of Teito where the rich stay rich and the poor are destined to remain that way as once you are classed as rich or poor you are forbidden to try and change your destiny.

Now in this film written & directed by Sato Shimako .

A mysterious thief K-20 has gripped the city stealing priceless paintings and objects from the rich.Now Takeshi Kaneshiro plays Heikichi a circus acrobat who is fooled by  K-20 to take the fall for him as a the authorities are constantly on his trail with the help of Detective Kogoro Akechi ( played here by Nakamura Toru) who also happens to be a rich baron.Now Akechi is due to be married to princess Yoko Hashiba who's grandfather held the key to a powerful machine (TESLA) that can harness electricity enough to power cities and factories without the aid of power lines ,just by setting a co-ordinance.But also this power could be used as a weapon of mass destruction and it is this that K-20 wants to find.

At the wedding of Akechi and Yoko Heikichi, who has been conned in to taking photo's of the couple ends up setting of a explosion with the camera he has been given by a fake executive from a  publication.Now Heikichi is captured and proclaimed to be K-20 the phantom thief as the identity of K-20 is not known as he is a master of disguise.

Now being imprisoned and beaten and tortured he is near death and upon being transferred he is rescued by his old circus friend and his band of thieves.Now Heikichi is not fond of thieves and vows to return to the circus but what he does not know is the circus has been trashed and burned by the authorities and upon seeing this and finding one of his old circus band who is a young boy living in poverty and struggling to survive ,vows to become a thief to survive.But instead is given the thieves handbook which outlines how to avoid capture ,routes of escape and the art of disguise as his friends believe if he can master this he can catch the real K-20 and prove his innocence.

Now by chance he stumbles on Yoko who has just been confronted  by K-20 about the Tesla machine and is on the run from him when she is rescued by Heikichi and when she finds out who he is sets out to help him clear his name by capturing K-20.


 This has to be one of the most enjoyable films as you watch Heikichi  train himself in the art of Evasion and disguise and in his battles with the masked thief K-20 and along with a story that's about looking after your own and surviving under Imperial rule with all the odds against you.The cast is brilliant each give a solid performance and suit their characters well and the ever reliant Kaneshiro delivers once again after seeing him in Red cliff and Warlords.

The action is fast and furious with a good helping of free running abilities and fighting ,i don't know how much Kaneshiro actually did himself or was done by a double but this does not matter with such a enjoyable film that delivers on all levels.It will make you laugh and feel sad and have in suspense all at the same time .Better then Batman ,Superman or most other stylized super heroes K-20 is hard to beat as he and Heikichi jump ,fight and glide through the air.

Truly a top film not to be missed The Snake.

Score out of Ten = 9






Top photo Takeshi Kaneshiro  as Heikichi  / Bottom left Matsu Takako who plays Yoko and Right Nakamura Toru who plays Akechi


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