Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Movie Review: Tetsuo - The Bullet Man - 2009

Tamer - and shakier - than the first

IMDBA man watches how his son gets purposely and repeatedly run over by a car. As if that trauma wasn't enough, his body starts growing metal, turning him into an invulnerable monster. Yes, it's Shinya Tsukamoto time again, and "Tetsuo - The Bullet Man" is the third installment of his "Testuo" series. It is similar in style and content to the former movies, but there are also some notable differences. Just like in "Tetsuo - The Iron Man", we get lots of frantic shots accentuated by industrial music. The title sequence is even identical to the original. Also, the protagonist has metal parts growing from his body in an organic rather than technical way.

But Tsukamoto also tried to make "Tetsuo - The Bullet Man" more accessible for viewers, particularly those from Western countries. The movie hasn't been filmed in Japanese but English, and it's a Caucasian, Eric Bossick as Anthony, who is growing into a metal monster. It has desaturated pictures with glimpses of color instead of pure black and white. And though it is quite as violent, it lacks the disturbing sexual images of the first installment. Most important, it has a story that can be understood and that explains why everything is happening. Yes, the movie definitely is more accessible than the first one. It is somewhat but not completely weird, it is somewhat but not completely confusing, and it even has an identifiable plot. Which, though, is also the reason why fans of the original will probably be disappointed. Although on the surface the movies appear similar, the tone is very different. This movie isn't quite as avant-garde, it lacks the pure freakishness of the original.

While it's a matter of taste which style you like better, there is a real problem with "Tetsuo - The Bullet Man" that spoils the experience quite a bit. It's the shaky cam - the ugly tool that only film makers like while everybody else on the planet hates it. The shaky cam in this movie is really annoying.

Rating: 5 out of 10 further things growing out of your body.