Not really going to "review" the synopsis aspects of the film, as there are tons of online versions, but man...what an unexpected find! I am not an anime or manga person, so coming upon this was a bit happenstance. The film is extremely well made, with top notch acting, directing, and production. The finished product is also one of the best looking films I've seen in a while. The Ultra HD 4K IS FABULOUS!!! It's not just the resolution that makes it sing, but the use of very specific colors and lights which make the HD that much more striking, as characters and scenes simply jump off the screen. Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a film that looks better.
If you are a fan of any of the following, you will enjoy this movie:
- Asian cinema in general
- Manga andor anime
- High def movies, regardless of content
- Allegorical stories
- Sci-fi action films
- Movies that can't be figured out quickly
All that said, the copy I have does not have a dubbed language channel, so it's subtitles all the way. IMO, for whatever that's worth, watching dubbed films always detracts from a film when compared to an original language film with subtitles, even if just slightly.
I've watched Asian cinema for years, and one of the many things I appreciate about these films is that there are no off limits topics and no roadmaps to building the plot. In other words, anything & everything goes! There is some truly weird content in this film. Not weird as in overly violent or graphically sexual, rather, just WEIRD. Weird, as in strange... offbeat...abnormal...odd...and all in superbly good ways! I won't offer any examples, but suffice it to say that there were no creative limits put on this film. I only wish American films would do more utterly, crazily creative and absurdly warped pieces like this. Sadly, American audiences just don't subscribe to the idea of big budget films with scenes (and many of them) that make the viewer say "what in the heck did I just see? That was totally out of left field." Asian cinema, in large part due to the incredibly unbounded fantasy that can be seen in manga or anime, has embraced otherworldly weirdness in the regular world. That's what makes the good ones so good...it's a bit like an acid trip whilst watching the story unfold.
Do yourself a favor...if you're a fan of any of the above types of films, watch this movie. The protagonist is superb, matched only by the tightness of the script, and Michael Douglas is PERFECT!
Review by Mike_T-Little_Mtn_Sound_Archive from the Internet Movie Database.