What in God’s name did I just see? My head in spinning as I feel like I was drugged before I walked in to see Hitoshi Matsumoto‘s unusual Japanese film, DAINIPPONJIN. What exactly was I slipped? Was everything a hallucination, or just some of it? Hold on a second…
I just checked with my buddy who saw it with me, he was drinking bottled water… he saw exactly what I saw. DAINIPPONJIN is a bizarre monster-comedy that features some of the most bizarre and insane sequences ever captured on film. Whether you like this movie or not, it will in fact effect you.
Middle-aged slacker Daisato (played by director Hitoshi Matsumoto, one of Japan’s famous comedians) seems an unlikely subject for a documentary crew following his banal daily routine; that is, until he transforms into a giant superhero with tight purple briefs, tattoos and a crazy hairdo to battle outlandish villains and revolting monsters. But with the superhero’s falling TV ratings, noise complaints from citizens, blame for destruction of public property and family problems, he has become the scapegoat of New Japan. – TIFF
Ignoring the underlying jab at Japanese pop-culture and traditions, the reason you will see this movie is for it’s insane visual moments. Turn the subtitles off – heck, even turn the sound off and pump up a tune of your own – you don’t need to hear what’s going on to have the time of your life. What you’re about to see is some crazy sh-t. Watch as Daisato transforms into a giant, overweight superhero and battles the creepiest, ugliest monsters ever to grace the big screen. The FX work is pretty damn good, but in a movie like this it’s sufficient.
Ok, so you want to watch the movie with all the goods – sound and all – there are in fact a few problems. Mainly the movie is a little slow at times and some of the fights with the monsters are a little weak. If you’re paying attention to the plot is a necessary evil as we’re seeing how out of shape Daisato has become – but for those of us who want to see action with our insane FX sequences, you’re not going to find loads of it here.
The problem is a film of this nature only has one definition… cult classic. Trying to tag it, understand it and eventually expect the best of it is way out of any person’s grasp… unless of course you’re some sort of superhero (wink, wink). To truly understand what I’m trying to say, stick though it until the end credits and beyond… the finale to this film is going to make you think you were drugged too.
In the end DAINIPPONJIN is like that Japanese candy that comes in a fun box. The exterior is simply eye catching, wacky and fun, but the bulk of the contents in just OK… not quite the best candy you ever had – but it will do!