Danger, Ass, and Tons of Blood: Noboru Iguchi's Live Leaves Fantasia Audience Craving for More
If there's anything we've learned from Live, it's that anyone can have a change of heart, no matter the level of stubbornness. It just takes a little more convincing.
Enter Naoto Tamura. A pretty-face young adult with no respect for anyone or anything finds himself caught up in a death-race he never asked for, along with others just as unfortunate as himself. And what for? To save a loved one--in his case his mother--with whom he has a very shaky relationship, as demonstrated in earlier sequences.
Everyone else involved in this secretive race seems to fall under the same category. Their loved ones have also been taken hostage. Although they have entered this chain of events without putting much thought, many of them eventually come to realize the relationship with the captive other isn't that great, and some even doubt whether rescuing them is worth risking their own lives.
Then there are those who think the complete opposite. Take this character, Akari, for instance. At the very beginning of the film, she is as lost as anyone in the room. She admits to a self-proclaimed athlete (a real jerk) that she had always felt dumb growing up and thought she'd never make it anywhere in life. She practiced dance in her earlier years, and all but once her father (who trained her) never showed much appreciation. Her goal in the race was to rescue the latter because somehow she felt he was her only reason to carry on living.
Halfway through the film, Akari is severely injured. Reminded of her own personal goal,she breaks free from her torment, unlocking a completely new personality and super-weapon (guess which one), becoming a tormentor herself. Akari goes haywire, killing off her opponents, partially for revenge, but mostly because she's found a new passion (and this is more exciting for the audience to watch).
Live is just that--many characters reaching their breaking point and flipping, jammed-packed with more merciless killing and gratuitous violence, deliciously-close shots of ass, tied together with nonsensical plot twists. It's like Battle Royale with a bigger playground, and a lot more laughs. Without a doubt, this Iguchi latest has managed to ace its North American premiere.
"I ran all the way from Tokyo...and lost 2 kg" said Noboru Iguchi, wearing a tracksuit identical to those seen in the film. Overly excited, it's as if he knew how well the Fantasia audience would welcome his new piece of art.
For those who like their movies doused in red and who love a good laugh, keep track of Live.