In Japanese with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Mazayuki Suzuki
Cast: Takuya Kimura, Lee Byung Hun, Takako
Runtime: 2 hrs 10 mins
Released By: GV & Encore Films
Official Website: www.encorefilms.com/hero
Opening Day: 22 November 2007
Based on the popular drama series that won the hearts of Asian
audience, HERO returns! This is the most anticipated movie
of the year as it opens in 475 theatres and is all time biggest
release in Japan ever. The movie is set to break the box office
Kuryu (Takuya Kimura), the prosecutor who shirks suit and
tie for a pair of jeans but is never casual about his pursuit
for the truth, is back! Besides the original TV series cast,
Korean heartthrob Lee-Byung Hung is in it and was shot partly
in Busan. This time, he is involved in an obscure case of
manslaughter that turns into the trial of the century.
here means the end of his career. He must solve it!
This reviewer has heard a lot about this certain Japanese
superstar named Takuya Kimura. He hears that this enigmatic
member of the pop group SMAP is really popular amongst both
young girls and older women. He hears that this married man
is the first male star to advertise lipsticks, and thanks
to his famed status as a leading television star, the lipsticks’
sales shot sky high.
reviewer first saw him on the big screen in Wong Kar Wai’s
2046 (2004). He thought that the actor who played Faye Wong’s
boyfriend looked awkward. Then he saw him again as a blind
samurai in Yoji Yamada’s Love and Honor (2006). He thought
Kimura looked haggard.
what’s the big deal about this Kimura character? After
watching his latest feature film outing, this reviewer now
understands his widespread appeal. This 35-year-old actor
has all the charm and charisma which girls will love, and
guys will want to imitate. Even the way he casually swings
his Ipod Shuffle earphones appears to be ultra-suave.
his 2001 television series role of an intelligent and smart
prosecutor, Kimura reunites with his former partners to solve
a hit-and-run accident involving a soon-to-be-married man,
an ex-politician, a security guard and an arson case. So many
things, so little time – how does the man do it?
his sharp observation and quick wits, of course.
shares screen time with the original cast of the television
series, and it is obvious that they still have great chemistry
together after six years. One signature scene comes near the
end of the movie, where you see the gang of eight characters
standing together in one shot – it’s just to cool
to be true. Kimura also manages to anchor many of the movie’s
most entertaining ensemble scenes with his commanding on-screen
presence: look out for the chase sequence at the scrap yard
because it will leave you laughing in stitches.
up the star factor, Kimura travels to Korea with his potential
love interest played by another popular Japanese starlet Takako
Matsu (The Hidden Blade, Brave Story) to find a clue. In this
rather unnecessary segment, we get to see yet another Asian
superstar Lee Byung-hun (Bittersweet Life, Everybody Has Secrets)
in a cameo which lasts for less than five minutes on screen.
But two of Asia’s hottest leading men for the price
of one cinema ticket? Why not?
those (like this reviewer) who did not experience the fad
that was the 2001 “Hero” television series, the
130-minute movie may be a little confusing at first, but let
yourself settle in nicely and you’d be enjoying this
flick like any other entertaining courtroom drama.
you’d also be familiar with the catchy theme music by
the time the movie ends on a bright and upbeat note.
Movie Rating: -
it the star appeal or the winning storyline, this movie entertains
from beginning to end)
Review by John Li