HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
   
 
Newest Articles
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Black Lagoon pesky piratesBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Sunao Katabuchi, Fumie Maroi, Kenichi Kawamura
Stars: Daisuke Namikawa, Megumi Toyoguchi, Hiroaki Hirata, Mami Koyama, Tsutomu Isobe
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, Animated
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mild mannered office worker Rokuro Okajima is bullied into a business cruise in South-East Asia, whereupon his life takes an unexpected turn. He is kidnapped by a trio of rowdy, foul-mouthed pirates, including sexy sharpshooter Revy, hulking Vietnam veteran Dutch, and techno-head Benny. When it becomes obvious corporate bosses care more about the data disc in his care and regard him as expendable, the newly rechristened “Rock” rebels and falls in with Revy and co. for fast paced, bullet strewn adventures along the south seas as they run errands for the mysterious Balalaika and her Russian crime syndicate.

From its hard rocking, English language theme song (“You make me violate you, no matter where you are!”), to its ridiculously profane dialogue (“I’ll weld your asshole shut and make a new one in your head!”), everything about Black Lagoon screams: “Look how grownup I am!” The cumulative effect is like watching a whiny teenager straining to embarrass mom and dad. Characters wear bad attitudes on their sleeves, much like cigarettes dangle from their lips in a desperate attempt to seem hardboiled. Yet beneath the surface they’re either tedious, over-familiar or nondescript. While the pirates are boorish thrill junkies, Rock proves a total drip and quickly becomes the group’s favourite punching bag. Leggy, gun-toting, tattooed poster girl Revi is all surface attitude and completely dull, despite frequent hints at a past-life trauma.

Episodes One “The Black Lagoon” (the title comes from their sea-faring vessel) and Two “Mangrove Heaven” recount Rock’s transformation from put-upon office drone to risk-taking pirate. Handsome visuals evoke the allure of south sea islands and deep blue waters as an escape from the grey, humdrum salaryman existence, but Rock’s Big Defiant Gesture is undermined by his boss not actually giving a damn. Amusingly, he approaches being a pirate just as he did being a salaryman (“Can I ask you to stop your ship, please?”). While laidback Benny leaves little impression, attempts to paint Dutch as the voice of moral authority are scuttled by his slap-happy treatment of Rock. Rock squares up to Revy in a drinking competition that sees them test their mettle via that manliest of alcoholic beverages… Bacardi.

Things pick up slightly with Episode Three “Ring Ding Ship Chase”, which hints at a conflict brewing between Chinese and Russian mobsters, and features a character named Donnie Yen! Sadly, everyone’s favourite, broody kung fu kicker doesn’t put in an appearance, but Revi kicks off an impressive spurt of gunplay. Leaping from speedboat to speedboat she wipes out an entire armada. Glimpses of Balalaika ruthlessly eliminating her competitors are either suggesting she’ll be more trouble than our heroes realise, or merely the callous posturing of gangster chic. The most intriguing episode is number Four “Die Rükkehr Des Adlers”, which crosscuts between our modern day treasure hunters and a doomed German submarine in 1945. Both the cat and mouse games and claustrophobic tension evoke Das Boot (1981), while there is a nice exchange between a nasty S.S. officer and the cynical captain who disses Hitler’s Reich as: “the empire of a corporal whose paintings wouldn’t sell.” A priceless painting (not one of the Fuhrer’s) proves just what Revi and friends are searching for amidst the sunken sub before they fall foul of heavily armed Neo-Nazis. One reoccurring problem throughout the series is an inability to craft a compelling cliffhanger, but this closer tweaks the interest.

Adapted from a manga by Rei Hiroe, Black Lagoon has been hailed in some quarters for its coarse dialogue, graphic violence and in your face action. Oooh, and the guns go bang-bang too! Seriously, it takes more than sub-John Woo shootouts and lines like “****ing Christ saved us that time!” to mount a convincingly adult-oriented anime. Fans in search of a real, kick-ass bullet-fest should look to Kenichi Sonoda’s Gunsmith Cats (1995), while those hankering for mature storytelling ought to check out Naoki Urasawa’s Monster. Black Lagoon’s attempts to court a western audience leave it looking like a mid-eighties Cannon film, or DTV stinker starring Steven Seagal.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3494 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: