Dir. Takashi Miike; Japan; 2009; Action; Nobuaki Kaneko, Haruma Miura; 133mins
The prequel to this sequel aired at Sitges in 2008 but slipped under the CS radar and hasn’t been seen since. Perhaps this puts us at a disadvantage to see the follow up as the synopsis would seem to suggest a continuation of character and theme. However, when the cast appears to consist of teenagers held together with band-aids and a small army of smartly dressed skinheads, with a theme that sees them going at it bare knuckle to bare knuckle, I’m guessing we may have a chance of catching up with the plot.
In the spirit of preparation I had a look at MangaFox in an attempt to get a feel from the original Manga comic the film was developed from. I wasn’t feeling it. I like the humour and I’ve no doubt Miike has the action down bang to rights, but we’ve had our fair share of disappointments from Japan’s corner at Sitges. That said, my limited experience of Manga comic to big screen adaptation has a pretty decent hit rate. I only need to name AKIRA and OLD BOY and we’re laughing, but I also liked GHOST IN THE SHELL (wake up Shaun!) and 20TH CENTURY BOYS didn’t make us walk out last year at Sitges.
OK, perhaps that’s not the most extensive back-catalogue of Manga you’ve ever seen but I have sat through AKIRA and GHOST in the original language, with no subtitles, and I did once sit through STEAMBOY (from the director of AKIRA) in the original language with Catalan subtitles (which might as well have been Japanese). However, I see a theme developing there, and that’s that those moving pictures were animated not real reel. CROWS ZERO 2 is in the flesh.
As ever, with our tightly packed film program at Sitges, some films fall by the wayside and I’ve a feeling CROWS ZERO 2 may suffer that very fate. Miike also has YATTERMAN screening at Sitges this year so that may instead get the nod. We could always stick THE WARRIORS in the VCR when we get home to make up for any short-fall in fisticuffs.
But hey, maybe that’s just us. See what others think……