Tokyo 10 + 01

(Tokyo Eleven)
Dir: Higuchinsky
Star: Masanobu Ando, Eddie, Natsuki Katou, Hitomasa Matsusawa

An obvious Battle Royale ripoff, this a) cheerfully admits it, and b) puts enough spin on the idea to become thoroughly enjoyable regardless. Set in a futuristic neo-Tokyo, eleven people with questionable histories wake up in a warehouse, and are told they are now playing a game. They have to reach a specific location in eleven hours, while being hunted by machine-gun toting men. The winner gets 300 million yen and the chance to start their life over again; the losers die. But as the title suggests, not everyone is quite what they seem.

While hugely predictable - Chris called the deaths and other twists with scary precision - it scores over BR in its smaller number of characters, allowing you to get to know and like them...usually just before they die. They're quick caricatures (man-hating assassin, transvestite, hacker kid, etc.) but endearing, and the pace is lighting-fast; it's only 70 minutes, and 20 are spent on the intro and rules, using the same kind of hyper-happy girl seen in BR. There's no portentous social message at all, and if it lacks the brutal impact of big brother, it makes up for this in tongue-in-cheek excess. Any film where "Mr. Big" is seen stroking a ceramic 'lucky cat', and with a pair of Chinese twins called Jasmine and Oolong, deserves a sly smile at the very least.

Feb 2004

See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]