mega-hit comic, CROWS, about feuding high school tough guys,
has sold over 32 million copies in its eight-plus years. This
feature length movie version of "CROWS" depicts
the never-before-told origins of the story as "Episode
Genji Takiya is a transfer student who attempts to take over
Suzuran Boys HIgh School. With the mentoring by old boy yakuza
Katagiri, he faces off against rival Serizawa, the most powerful
If you know director Takashi Miike well enough, you
should know his movies aren’t that easy to stomach.
The creative Japanese filmmaker’s works are known for
their explicit and inviolable depictions of violence and sex,
and definitely aren’t made for the squeamish. We still
remember the discomfort when we watched the bloodily violent
Ichi the Killer (2001) and the devilishly wicked segment “Box”
in the pan Asian collaboration Three… Extremes (2004).
So when we finished viewing his latest work based on a best
selling manga, we thought we missed something when there was
no indication of uneasiness at all.
fact, we felt that the characters in the movie are so cool;
we wanted to be like them: A group of high school guys rough
it out to become the ultimate gang leader. That is what the
whole movie is about in one simple line. There are feuds,
betrayals and heated arguments along the way. And being the
prolific director he is, Miike did not forget to include stylized
lots of “too cool to be true” fight sequences
starring “too cool to be true” Japanese guys dressed
in “too cool to be true” outfits (jackets, trench
coats, shirts et al.) – How can anyone put up a good
fight in those designer outfits? Remember, this movie is based
on Hiro Takahashi’s comic series about delinquent high
school students who fight for the place in the hierarchy –
so anything is possible.
it takes an auteur like Miike to translate this on screen.
Sure, the movie may feel a little stretched with a 130 minute
runtime, but every minute of the picture is oozing with coolness
and style, you will find yourself enjoying every bit of the
been there done that plot. The initial meetings at the karaoke
bar, the fights in the rain and the blazing sun accompanying
the climatic showdown are perfect examples of how the Japanese
seem to beautify everything they produce for the screen. It
may just make you want to go out there and join in the brawl
is spot on with good lookers Shun Oguri (Reincarnation, Gigolo
Wannabe) and Takayuki Yamada (Train Man) headlining this movie.
It doesn’t matter if these tough looking actors are
playing delinquents, the heartthrobs will charm girls off
their feet – it pays to be a bad boy. And these bad
boys will be back in 2009 with a sequel. Girls, mark your
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 disc includes Interviews with
Miike and the lead actors at what looks like a promotional
road show. During 13 minutes, we hear the host gleefully ask
the guys who they will date if they were girls, and the actors
trying their best to look interested at the frivolous question.
There is also a Trailer included in the disc.
There are Japanese and Mandarin audio tracks available, and
the visual transfer makes sure you can properly see what is
going on in the scenes where there is heavy rain.
by John Li