Big Man Japan (2007)

Big Man Japan, directed by Hitoshi Matsumoto leaves one wondering what exactly they’ve gotten themselves into during the course of watching the film.  Billed as a hilarious mockumentary, Big Man Japan is more of schizophrenic hodgepodge of odd humor peppered with silly but entertaining action scenes.  This movie is largely a spoof on the classic Godzilla movies and the Japanese obsession with this genre.  While the fight scenes are the most exciting parts of the film, they are unfortunately few and far between leaving the viewer with a very slow-moving film with the occasional laugh at the main characters expense.

Big Man Japan is the story of a middle-aged man with a broken family life that can transform into a giant when pumped full of electricity.  A superhero that is laughed at by the Japanese public which he protects and manipulated by an ungrateful talent agent that is solely interested in making some yen as opposed to the interests that suit him.   The style of the film is that of a mock documentary in which a camera crew and a journalist follow him around observing his rather mundane life.  Underappreciated, Big Man Japan views himself as a national superhero who defends Japan against creepy and sometimes outright silly foreign monsters who are intent upon destroying Japanese cities in Godzilla fashion.

Aside from the odd CGI battle scenes, the best moments of this film are those that use side-splitting deprecating humor to detail Big Man Japan’s personal life.  The sidebar interviews with his soon to be ex-wife and daughter provide welcome comic relief in a movie that isn’t quite sure what it wants to make of itself.  The end result is  a somewhat boring movie documenting the life of a somewhat boring man who has the ability to transform into a funny looking giant that resembles a caveman wearing blue bikini briefs.  While the ending does have a twist it is done more as a commentary on Japanese international relations rather than Big Man Japans own abilities.


~ by asiaflicks on April 10, 2010.

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