By Al Kratina
August 11, 2008 - 20:20
Director: Masaya Kakei
Screenplay: Masaya Kakei, Hirotoshi Kobayashi, from Kotaro Isaka
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Manami Konishi, Ken Mitsuishi, Sumiko Fuji, Takuya Ishida
Producers: Tohru Horibe, Takaya Kurata, Takashi Kamikura
Running Time: 113 minutes
The Japanese are an idiosyncratic bunch. Sure, their society may seem a faceless mass of business suits and rigidly structured etiquette. But simply typing “Asian” and “rigid” into any Internet search engine will rapidly replace any notions of pervasive cultural formality with dark dreams of barbed wire shackles and showers of body fluids.
Accuracy Of Death revels in this quirkiness, though without the aggression of creepy hentai bondage. Reminiscent of last year’s Fantasia smash Death Note, the film follows a Grim Reaper and his telepathic dog over the course of forty years, as he traces the path of a life he spared.
It’s a gentle film, slow-paced and quiet, but this simply gives its strangeness a dreamy, airy quality. It’s not entirely unpleasant, like being slightly oxygen deprived in a carnival, though the film is very predictable in its fish-out-of-water comedy. Lead actor Takeshi Kaneshiro is likeable, and director/co-screenwriter Masaya Kakei doesn’t let things grind to a halt, as in the similarly themed Meet Joe Black. It’s an average film, but full of subtle strangeness and weird cultural tropes, the film falls somewhere between a business suit and a black leather bullwhip in the spectrum of idiosyncrasies. Thankfully, however, it’s closer to the former than the latter.
ADDITIONAL BONUS REVIEWS BY ALISON ANDERSON
Sick of reading paragraphs with punctuation and sentences? Here’s a bit-sized capsule review, with a handy “Suckometer” scale, that runs from 1 (good) to Suck (not good).
I exclusively read Manga made for 14-year-old girls, so I have a soft spot for this stuff, and Accuracy of Death hit me right there. I love this movie as much as my Sailor Moon coffee mug. On a scale of 1 to Suck, I give this Pixie Pop.
Rating: 5 /10