Note: The following post contains no significant advances of the plot or the end of the film.
K-20 is a 2008 Japanese film directed by Shimako Sato based on the So Kitamura Novel: Kaijin Nijū Mensō Den. Yes indeed, It’s not the latest premiere, but worths review it when the dissemination of East Asian Cinema is not wide in the West, so is very possible that many people had not the chance to watch it yet.
K-20 is a fiction story located in Japan in the late 40’s, a Japan where World War II never happened and in which the society is in a deep extreme inequality, of this situation arises a very particular thief, a sort of Robin Hood the police have failed to apprehend and named Kaijin-20 by his ability to change appearance and be unrecognizable every time he attacks. K-20 now has a new target and to achieve it will use as a decoy to Heikichi Endo a circus acrobat that will have to face many obstacles in order to be able to escape from the problems in which is immersed because of the thief.
The story is quite entertaining and rich in elements, has excellent and not exaggerate tints of humor that remember a lot the manga or the anime, Added to that the frame is filled with adventures that keep the viewer in tune and attentive to the action sequences, these latest are quite attractive since the parkour is the channel for its development: both in the fight and persecution scenes the famed discipline makes presence and adds a touch of reality to the presented fiction. On the other hand is a detective story charged with enigma and clichés that makes reminiscent of the mystery cinema of old-times, as well in this multitude of components there is a critical factor to social inequality, towards the indifference that has the powerful people over the needs of their neighbor.
Takeshi Kaneshiro gives life to Heikichi Endo, with the usual angel that characterizes him the actor achieves an excellent interpretation of a naive and simple man who by force of necessity must find within himself the strength and the ability to overcome adversity, thus suffers a pseudo-transformation in which Kaneshiro provides strength to his character without allowing him to abandon his innate goodness. Takako Matsu plays the role of Yoko Hashiba a high class woman completely underestimated by all those who surround her that is desperate to know the life out of her bubble and live different things, Matsu achieves a tender, foolish and humorous character. Toru Nakamura has the role of a man with a flat and cold personality as the detective in charge of persecuting K-20, Nakamura performs to perfection a necessary low profile to his character.
The locations, the ambience and visual effects are completely structured, designed and attractive: constantly take the viewer to disparate realities such as wealth and poverty, the real and the imaginary, the old and the modern. Excellent.
Like you expected Zerorojo recommends it: K-20 The Fiend With Twenty Faces is a film that brings together many elements but is not overloaded, is quite entertaining for what is suitable for all kind of viewers and leads us to a reflection about the productions that are doing in the east: a cinema full of creativity and attractiveness that has few or nothing to envy to the Hollywood creations.