90s Far East Bracket: Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi (Yellow Fangs, 1990)

vlcsnap-2009-09-28-14h00m23s93 It’s time for the first film in my fourth match-up in the first round of the 90s Far East Bracket! Written By: Shigeko Satô Directed By: Sonny Chiba Before I get into the specifics of Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi, yes, I do know that it is based on a true story. Although in this case I’m more likely to believe it is based on a popular myth as opposed to a true story. That’s the only way I am able to justify the idea of a super smart bear who specifically targets women. Think about that idea for a few seconds, a bear who specifically targets women! That right there is a concept ripe for a horror film or Uwe Boll style cheese. Someone should have told Sonny Chiba this, because he clearly had other ideas. Instead of going somewhere interesting with the idea presented above, Chiba bases his film in unrelenting melodrama. Maybe that would have been okay if he had stuck with any sort of strong narrative, melodrama doesn’t automatically equal a bad movie after all. Instead Chiba crafts a film that is part romantic melodrama, part revenge movie and bits and pieces of cheese. Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi is mainly a romantic melodrama though and thus the other elements feel out of place. For unknown reasons Chiba jumps his picture throughout a timeline, ruining any chance at narrative momentum. He doesn’t do it in the style of say, Quentin Tarantino, instead he jumps to and fro with no regard for how this affects the narrative flow. He has flashbacks in the middle of flashbacks and one flashback lasts for the entire middle of the picture. The flashback drags on and on until it is no longer a flashback, but the main thrust of the story delving into flashbacks of its own, then without warning the film returns to where it started. I was never able to get my footing during Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi, I was never able to feel like where I was at in the movie at any given time was where I should be. There are moments in Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi that did pull me in somewhat. Mainly flourishes with Chiba’s camera as well as the end action scene. Although I’m quite confident that the reason I liked the final showdown, it’s complete cheesiness, is not the reasons that Chiba wanted me to like that part of the film. I found what good I could and there was enough for me to not view Rimeinzu: Utsukushiki Yuusha-tachi as a waste of time or anything like that. It isn’t however a movie that is worth going out of your way to see, and based on the fact that I am only the tenth person to vote for it on IMDB people are already on board with that line of thought. Rating:


Cheers, Bill

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