Japanese movies are
always an exercise in bizarrity. The only problem is, you never
know until you get to watching them just what personality will
be in today. Seriously, it's like a Dilbert strip I once read
where Catbert's off firing some guy with multiple personalities
and he's spent all morning firing the twins and the astronaut
and the little girl. Japanese movies really are a lot like that.
The question of the
day, of course, is who's in? With Japanese movies you have only
a couple possibilities. You have the chatty lunatic who can't
stop talking about ghosts and death and assorted whatnot, and
you have the bloodsoaked maniac who can't kill enough people to
keep himself satisfied. Watching movies with the maniac can actually
be a fun, thrill-packed, adrenaline fueled ride to oblivion that's
worth every minute. But the chatty lunatic's movies tend to deal
in subtlety so thick you can't breach it with a pickaxe and dynamite.
sadly, is one of the latter.
I'm actually understanding
how this came from the director of "Pulse"--that sucker
was a chatty lunatic movie too, frankly, and what's really creepy
is Wes Craven actually made it BETTER. BUt anyway--Retribution
is all about a detective investigating the drowning death of a
young woman who, apparently, got drowned in a mud puddle. Which
is a hell of a way to die, especially as the clues begin to coalesce
around the detective and look more and more like he was the guy
who held said young woman's face in the mud puddle. And, as more
mud puddle victims start showing up around town, the detective
is left to wonder if he's the killer.
You can see where I'm
going with this already. I spent large portions of "Retribution"
bored out of my ever-loving skull in exchange for the occasional
payoff of something freaky, like a chick in a red dress slowly
flying up past a window. And frankly, that's not enough payoff
for me to sit though a half-baked crime drama where the murder
weapon is a mud puddle.
The ending...oh wow.
You thought the rest of the movie was half-baked, the ending is
about a quarter baked. I had to go back three or four times to
make sure the DVD didn't skip. It didn't...it's just that bad.
The special features
include English and Spanish subtitles, audio options, an alternate
ending (which isn't all that much better, really), a making-of
featurette FOR the alternate ending, and trailers for The Eye,
The Eye 2, Ju-On: The Grudge, Ju-On 2, Premonition, Werewolf Hunter:
The Legend of Romasanta, and the freaky Fearnet trailer.
All in all, "Retribution",
sadly, will not bring terribly many thrills along with it, which
puts it low on the totem pole for Japanese imports.
Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Starring Koji Yakusho, Manami Konishi, Tsuyoshi Ihana, Joe Odagiri
Produced by Taka Ichise
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