Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look70%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 30%
Sucks: 0%

3 reviews, 2 user ratings

Latest Reviews

To the Ends of the Earth by Jay Seaver

Wood Job! by Jay Seaver

News of the World by Rob Gonsalves

Promising Young Woman by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Woman 1984 by Rob Gonsalves

Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone by Rob Gonsalves

Mank by Rob Gonsalves

Wander Darkly by Rob Gonsalves

Stand In, The by Rob Gonsalves

MLK/FBI by alejandroariera

subscribe to this feed

Big Man Japan
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"It's the quiet ones you have to watch."
4 stars

There are various degrees and volumes of madness. "Big Man Japan" is calmly, quietly insane.

The brainchild of comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, who directed, co-scripted, and stars, Big Man Japan is a deadpan semi-mockumentary account of Masaru Daisatô (Matsumoto), a scruffy loner who defends Japan from giant monsters. How? Well, when needed, he drives to a remote place, where he undergoes a ritual and receives transformative electricity into his frail body. He balloons into a giant tattooed warrior with an Eraserhead hairdo and a steel club. The beasts he deals with are goofy and surreal. The filmmaking style is the exact opposite of goofy and surreal.

Like a Jim Jarmusch film, Big Man Japan is funnier the more mundane and sedate it is. Daisatô in his human form sits around his cluttered apartment or at a park and mutters about his humdrum life. Turning into the massive defender of his country offers him no joy, no escapist catharsis. As Big Man Japan, he lumbers around with the same bored expression. He didn't choose his profession, he was born into it; his father was also a Big Man Japan, and his father's father. They enjoyed the job more than Daisatô does; the public hates and fears Daisatô because of the damage he causes while vanquishing monsters.

Part satire of "Salaryman," part sideswipe at America (particularly at the climax when an Ultraman-type group arrives to help Daisatô save the day), Big Man Japan maintains the same deadpan during the giant-monster sequences. At one point, Daisatô gets into a quiet debate with a Stink Monster, who endures the attentions of another horny monster. The giants stand amid the tall buildings of Japan and exchange cranky words, instead of the usual declamations of "I WILL DEFEAT YOU!" Daisatô is more threatened by his ex-wife, who only lets him see their daughter twice a year, or by his agent, who keeps talking him into getting tattooed with sponsor logos.

The movie's shambling, matter-of-fact approach to pulpy material is funny, as is its steadfast avoidance of visual hype. Daisatô has a job to do, and he does it joylessly and grudgingly. Who knew fighting giant monsters could be so depressing? Perhaps this is one fork in the road of horror's future: austere comedies that take the uncanny for granted.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=17395&reviewer=416
originally posted: 10/03/09 21:07:48
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2007 Toronto International Film Festival For more in the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Fantastic Fest 2007 For more in the Fantastic Fest 2007 series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival For more in the 2008 San Francisco International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/07/09 Sully Soooo good! Love big Japan monsters. 4 stars
7/19/09 porfle The monsters and the fight scenes are wonderful. 4 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  15-May-2009 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Jul-2009


  DVD: 28-Jul-2009

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast