Director: Shinji Higuchi
Starring: Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Kou Shibasaki,
Etsushi Toyokawa, Mao Daichi, Mitsuhiro Oikawa
RunTime: 2 hrs 15 mins
Released By: UIP
Date: 26 October 2006
Sakyo Komatsu's novel, "Japan Sinks" hit the bookstores
in March 1973, it became an instant bestseller. The story
grew into a social and cultural phenomenon that has since
attached itself to the Japanese national psyche. Now, 33 years
on, director Shinji Higuchi brings the legendary story back
to life, against a contemporary backdrop with an all-star
includes Tsuyoshi Kusanagi from SMAP and Kou Shibasaki), a
production budget and all the modern day filmmaking techniques
to do full
justice to the original novel's vision.
Ultra man and Earthquakes.
they have in common? Mere mention of these names and the first
thing that comes into people’s mind would be Japan.
They are iconic trademarks of Japan and offer a strange fascination
of demolition of city skyscrapers that are never really duplicated
in any other places. After a long hiatus of Japan mega disaster
in Singapore cinemas, when the trailer for Sinking of Japan
hit our local theatre, it got this reviewer’s anticipation
effect in this movie (which bits of it were shown in the trailer)
does invoke a sense of awe. The skyscrapers of Tokyo and shrine
of Kyoto collapsing with tidal waves (tsunami) enveloping
the country’s seaports as desperate citizen tried to
escape the sinking Japan were simply impressive.
aspect of this movie played like most movies with major natural
disaster theme, there is always a romantic angle to play up
the viewers’ support for the survival of the poor victims
in the midst of certain doom. Here in this case, Sinking of
Japan got Kou Shibasaki &Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (SMAP) to play
up the dramatic love story of a rescue worker and a deep sea
crafted love story in such disaster looming around type of
movie (think Titanic) will engage viewers’ attention
and emotion but if there’s lack of chemistry, these
tender moments will bogged down the pace of this movie into
a slow crawl and that exactly what happened in this movie.
If you wish that the movie could jump to the next disaster
scene while watching Kou Shibasaki &Tsuyoshi Kusanagi
confessing their love for each other, don’t worry! You
are not the only one.
the only thing that didn’t get it going for Sinking
of Japan. The other bit would be the “science”
and wrap up of this movie. The explanation of why Japan is
sinking in this movie was done in the most uninteresting manner
that unless you have a passion of geography, you probably
won’t pay much attention to what being blabber out.
also hard to believe in the solution provided by the “mad”
scientist who was just last seen slamming and screaming at
the monitor after the monitor presented to him that Japan
is sinking faster than expected.
you are able to accept his proposal of blasting of the earth
crust layer that dragging Japan down and worldwide drillers
are willing to come together to help achieve this dangerous
mission, you might find the choice of detonation just too
unbelievable. In the midst of earthquakes and moving grounds,
the detonation is almost as difficult as poking a thread through
a needle hole and among the hundreds of drillers, they could
only afford one submarine to activate the detonation.
scientists in this movie are so advance that they could create
explosives with almost nuclear like power, why can’t
they have a remote detonation in the first place?
That’s because it need to set up the predictable climatic
fellow reviewer mentioned to me that Sinking of Japan made
Day After Tomorrow look like a classic and since I haven’t
seen that movie before, I can’t really make any similar
verdict. Overall the special effects of destruction of Japan
were a nostalgically satisfying but the story and cast were
quite a let down.
of Japan barely managed to stays a float for a two hour movie)
by Richard Lim Jr