Friday, June 27, 2008


This adaptation of a manga about a fighter would have been better served by abandoning its source material entirely. The story (a young man gets sent to prison for killing his parents and emerges a tough martial artist) and the character (a vicious, wronged thug who lacks the wits or skill to win a match) are good enough to sustain interest, but the exposition and the lack of any cohesion to the scenes ultimately make the film a bit of a disappointment.

From the director of Dog Bite Dog, one would expect a gritty, grim tale, and indeed one is provided: Shamo must mean "shat upon by society". Nice touches abound throughout: the Johnny Walker-swilling sensei, the gaudily-dressed prostitute love(?)-interest, and even The Beast (Kung Fu Hustle) as the head of the top martial arts gym.

Ranks with Zebraman for one of the best martial arts finishing moves out there.

* * * R A T I N G * * *


Wince : [****_]
Flinch : [****_]
Retch : [***__]
Gape : [**___]

Beerequisite : [****_]
Pornability : [**___]
Obscurity : [**___]
Explicability : [***__]

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