HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
All Hail the Popcorn King
Muriel, or the Time of Return
Selma
Great Locomotive Chase, The
American Anthem
Lion and the Horse, The
Druids
War of the Wizards
Onward
Doctor Faustus
Spite Marriage
Mask, The
Letter to Jane
Quick Millions
Dream Demon
Max Havelaar
Radioactive
Glastonbury Fayre
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Shoot Out
Da 5 Bloods
Sonatine
Kung Fu Monster
Secret Agent Super Dragon
Saint Frances
Boiling Point
Golden Stallion, The
Dragon Force
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Luck of Ginger Coffey, The
Junkers Come Here
Ladius
White, White Day, A
Strong Medicine
Bitter Springs
Centipede Horror
Physical Evidence
Fanny Lye Deliver'd
55 Days at Peking
Alive
   
 
Newest Articles
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
   
 
  20th Century Boys Bad Religion
Year: 2008
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Stars: Toshiaki Karasawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Hidehiko Ishizuka, Takashi Ukaji, Katsuhisa Namase, Fumiyo Kohinata, Mirai Moriyama, Kanji Tsuda, Renji Ishibashi, Jun Nishiyama, Tomiko Ishii, Airi Taira, Rina Hatakeyama
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Kenji Endo (Toshiaki Karasawa) used to want to be a rock star, in fact when he was at school back in the seventies he believed that rock music could change the world, an item of faith that his life since had failed to play out, particularly when his own band didn't go as well as he had hoped. Now, in the year 1997, he is stuck in a dead end job working in a convenience store with his mother, having to look after hhis infant niece Kanna, and currently getting an earful of hassle from his boss who doesn't think he's drumming up enough customers. But something in Kenji's childhood means that he has a destiny to fulfil - if only he could remember...

20th Century Boys was the first in a trilogy based on a manga that in turn was apparently inspired by the T-Rex song of the same name, although how they managed to string out this convoluted plot from a three minute pop song is not entirely clear. Not to worry, it doesn't matter in the great scheme of the story, which takes a few pages out of Stephen King's horror tome It in showing how the past and future are linked by having sequences where the child versions of the characters influence the adults. It skips forward and backward in time, all leading up to the threat of an apocalypse in the year 2000.

One nice thing about this is that it gets the date of the millennium correct, therefore the villain's plans will come into effect at midnight as the year 2000 turns into the year 2001, so pedants will be satisfied. These films are a pretty big deal in Japan, and this first one ends, as so many of this country's sci-fi cinema does, with a giant menace to the land, in this case a huge robot which squirts a spray of instantly deadly disease over anyone unlucky enough to get in its way. The reason for this is not wholly clear, but it is something to do with a religious cult that has taken hold and are planning to take political power; they are led by a masked man known only as Friend.

Presumably this has more resonance in Japan than elsewhere considering the notorious subway attacks courtesy of the Aum Shinrikyo followers in 1995, which have intriguing echoes in the plot of this, although they go far more to extremes in their fears here. Although that real life cult have renounced violence and changed their name, in 20th Century Boys there's a large measure of paranoia about groups such as these, summed up in a fictional assembly of power-hungry but outwardly peaceful campaigners who are actually beginning to pull the strings behind the scenes, even getting the police on their side.

All of which is bad news for Kenji's freedom fighters, who can't help but notice that this cult has adopted their old gang symbol from when they were children, a pointing finger with two concentric eyes, which makes them realise that Friend must be someone they knew back then, yet curiously not one can recall who he was. Eventually, the old gang reunite, minus a couple of members who have died in mysterious circumstances, and so they become a cell dedicated to the overthrow of the cult, even though the cult has practically taken over and their efforts look futile. The trouble is, with a naturally episodic tale such as this, you're going to be left with more questions than answers, and this does feel like an awful lot of buildup for a big plotline that we have yet to see, but it is well made even if the climactic cliffhangers might have you shrugging your shoulders. Music by Ryomei Shirai.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5758 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
  Hannah Prosser
   

 

Last Updated: