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  Publicity Stills of "Umizaru 2"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)

In Japaneses with English Subtitles
Director: Eiichiro Hasumi
Starring: Hideaki lto, Ai Kato, Ryuta Sato, Nene Ohtsuka, Mitsuru Fukikoshi
RunTime: 1 hr 57 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.ponycanyon.co.jp/intl/mp/60.html

Opening Day: 10 August 2006


Sequel to box office hit about Coast Guards, 'Umizaru'. Two years into his career as a Japan Coast Guard frogman, Daisuke Senzaki (Hideaki Ito) has matured into a seasoned diver destined to be among the corp's elite. But he is haunted by past failure and the emotional strain that accompanies a job of saving lives has cast doubts in Daisuke's mind that threaten top destroy his relationship with Kanna.

Movie Review:

Why is it that an immensely good-looking and courageous man with a beautiful partner on hand has to be so gloomy and emotionally drained? Is it the scriptwriters’ scheme to inject more coolness to the character or just a plot to extract empathy from the female audience?

Hideaki Ito (who is frequently seen in television serials) plays Daisuke Senzaki, an elite seasoned diver with the Japanese Coast Guards who forces himself to take a step backward in committing his relationship further with his gorgeous “kawaii” fiancé, Kana due to his struggle with his inner demons.

There’s never any deep dissection into the man’s mind or behaviour. Senzaki might well be suffering from what is commonly termed as clinical depression caused by his job. But hey, this is after all a summer blockbuster in Japan, apparently we have no time to dwell on tedious medical conditions. Before you know it, a disaster involving a sinking gigantic ferry has occurred. And our hero, Senzaki is dispatched on this highly dangerous rescue mission within the first 30 minutes of the movie.

The first “Umizaru” was a surprise-hit way back in 2004 chronicling Senazaki as a young recruit and how he won the hands of Kana behind the backdrop of the tough coast guard grueling trainings. 2 years later when “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” (It was titled as “Limit of Love”) was released in Japan, it instantly became a box-office hit outperforming the first instalment.

It’s easy to see why the “Umizaru” series is such as hit in Japan and worldwide. It has handsome tough men, lovey-dovey romance and heart-pounding rescue missions not forgetting the lush oceanic cinematography. Practically contain bits and pieces for everyone out there. The girls will go for the suave Hideaki and the guys will go for the action sets. There’s never a second for you to be distracted by that bucket of popcorns on your lap. Apparently, the sequel has a bigger budget for more realistic CG effects and pyrotechnics and it never disappoints despite its clinched plotline.

If you assumed Japan only export horror fares then I suggest you go for “Umizaru 2”. Japan was once a country churning out quality commercial and art films alike before the Korean wave took over. Touted as Japan’s “Top Gun”, “Umizaru 2: Test of Trust” is a commercial fare which you can trust. In fact its box-office was much better than a certain bigger ship by the name of “Poseidon” in its native land.

Movie Rating:

(A clinched plotline nevertheless a recommended Japanese fare for the action and romance buffs)

Review by Linus Tee

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