Monday, April 12, 2010

K-20 (2008)

Easily my most favorite film at the New York Asian Film Festival last year and it was also the best film I saw last year. I love this film and I’ve seen it way too many times already.

The plot of the film has Takeshi Kaneshiro as a circus performer who is framed by the title character, a mad fiend who is a master of disguise. He’s named K20 because he has at least 20 known disguises. Arrested Kaneshiro is freed by his circus friends who are actually part of a network of criminals. Using their resources he sets about trying to clear his name and along the way meets, and falls in love with a Princess, who is engaged to the police detective chasing him.

I’ve called this the superhero movie I always wanted to see but never knew it. It’s a film that is full of fun and charm and does everything exactly the way it should; which means that the film has some clichés in it, and it does but it uses the obvious plot twists and other “clichés” because that’s the way the story has to go (the film is essentially a send up of pulp fiction conventions so it has to use those conventions to remain faithful to its source). There are no other choices other than the cliches since not to follow them would make the film feel forced and wrong.

I smile every time I see this movie and the pure joy I get from it makes me feel 6 years old again. This is also a movie that I bought multiple copies of as an import DVD to give away. I have no idea if anyone who I forced copies upon watched the film, I really don’t care because the film just makes me happy, and if they didn’t watch it that’s a little less joy in their world.

Set in an alternate past where World War Two was never fought I’ve said the only flaw in the film was that their wasn’t enough blimps, and while that’s really a joke, its pretty close to the truth. To my mind this is as close to a perfect action romp as you can get, with only one dialog scene in the second half seeming unnatural and contrived (the result of coming out of a need to get certain information across).

I can’t recommend this film enough. Its pure joy. This is out on DVD everywhere, having just been released on DVD in the US . See this film. It’s a blast.

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