Starring : Sho Sakurai, Saki Fukada,Kyoko Fukada
Directed By: Takashi Miike
copyright© Nikkatsu 2009, EUREKA 2012
Takashi Miike is a very diverse director ,and though I have not seen all his films ,i have been privy to quite a few ,some of which I never realised where directed by him. Now Takashi Miike gave us such films as the Dead or Alive series ,Gozu and of course the more recent 13 Assassins and ''Hari Kiri' Death of a Samurai'.
For this 209 film Takashi Miike goes down a more family orientated route ,but one inspired by the Yatterman Japanese TV series which aired between 1977 and 1979, it consisted of 108 episodes and was very popular. The anime series has been remade in 2008 and is currently airing.
This film which follows the original anime is really a feast for the eyes. But first the plot of the film.
The film follows two teenagers who are girlfriend (Ai Kaminari aka Yatterman ''2'') and boyfriend ( Gan Takeda aka Yatterman ''1'') .Gan and Ai double as crime fighting heroes ,based at Gan's fathers business Takada Toys. It's a great front to invent mechanical robots to assist their crime fighting ,especially as Gan's father is away on business.
Now all this takes place ina fictional city by the name of Tokyoko ( a city inspired by Tatsunoko Production Works) , as with all super hero movies you have to have a nemesis to our heroes and in Yatterman we have the Dorombo gang. Led by the sexy female Doronji with her sidekicks Tonzura and Boyacky.
The Dorombo gang are a bunch of thieves and fraudsters who make as much as they can from ill gotten gain. But to make things more sinister they are guided by Dokurobei a spirit like form which wants to uncover the gift of time travel .
It's in a fight between the Dorombo gang and the Yatterman that our heroic duo rescue a young girl named Shoko . Shoko has in her possession a fragment of a stone skull . Know as the Skull stones ,if all are brought together it will give the gift of past and present travel ,but there is a cost to possessing the stones ,even when two parts are near each other things disappear , from bridges people and whatever gets in the way.
The Dorombo gang use any means to finance their escapades , from fake wedding dress sales to sushi events . It's all so they can build better robots to help fight against the Yatterman.
Shoko has been looking for her father Dr Kaieda ,a archaeologist who went missing searching for the stones.
Now it may all sound a bit like your average adventure film with good vs evil, but there is so much more to Yatterman. Now I am a fan of the old superhero Japanese movies like Ultraman and Karate Robo ( a 70's series recently made into a film and reviewed on site) . But there is one thing about Yatterman which makes it shine more then many of it's type , it's production value is high ,or at least it looks like it. The film also has many models made for the film ,which in a Western feature would be CGI.
Of course CGI is used to great effect in the film .And if you view the making of you can see the attention and passion for the subject matter . Getting the CGI to meld with the live action is superbly done. To top that the two main stars did all their own stunts ,something again showcased in the making of feature.
Every detail seems to have been studied before hand with a great deal of work. When watching the film and you see Yatterwoolf ( the Yatterman's robotic dog come vehicle ) you think what a great design ,but look at the making of and your be stunned that that actually made this monster of a robot .
The costumes are also another factor ,there so well designed for each character and their players that no one looks out of their comfort zone .
Yatterman is truly a fun family orientated film , with a fun storyline and features one of the most colourful backdrops for a live action film since ''Cutie Honey'' , it really is like watching a film like Toy Story or any other Pixar animated movie ,but being live action just makes it more real.
Takashi Miike never ceases to amaze , Yatterman is fun film which captures the original , and to think the same director has made films which feature mass violence ,serial killers,Samurai warriors and drama .
It just goes to show how versatile Takashi Miike really is. And again it looks like he had a lot of fun making the film as did the cast and crew.
It may not be a hard hitting martial arts frenzy ,but entertainment is one thing Yatterman has. Hell it even has two song and dance scenes ,giving it that Bollywood touch.
The version reviewed was the UK pal release by EUREKA, it has a making of feature,photo gallery,trailers and interviews as the extras . All in all a good package.
Score out of ten = 9
Review Date : February 1st 2013
Reviewer : Sertes Nake
|Directed by||Takashi Miike|
|Produced by||Yoshinori Chiba|
|Screenplay by||Masashi Sogo|
|Story by||Tatsuo Yoshida|
|Narrated by||Kōichi Yamadera|
|Starring||Shō Sakurai |
|Music by||Ikuro Fujiwara |
|Editing by||Kenji Yamashita|
|Release date(s)||March 7, 2009 (Japan)|
|Running time||119 minutes|