This was an odd little film. By the end of it I concluded that it really helps to have some knowledge of Japanese to enjoy this movie since a lot of the fun comes from the idiosynchracies of the characters, much of which depends upon how they use the language. The main character is a cool fellow who ran away from his yakuza gang with stolen money. He ends up with the hotel girl who got in a car accident with the yakuza. Now the yakuza wanna track them both down. I thought the action was pretty good, it was bloody, and funny sometimes. Shark Skin Man and Peach Hip Girl is labeled as being incredibly violent, but it’s really not all that bad. There’s some blood, but it’s pretty tame compared to some of the other films I’ve seen lately.
The film also has quite a good soundtrack that fits the film incredibly well. It reminds me of the Trigun soundtrack, which was really just rock music with a lot of awesome guitar work. If your one of those people that over analyze every aspect of a movie and cant sit there and enjoy a fun film then maybe this isn’t for you. You have absolutely no reason to care for the characters or for two leads to even to be together. I find myself wondering where is any of the motivation, at all? All the characters seemed oddly disconnected from each other, which ultimately created a disconnect between myself and the film. Unfortunately, the pieces don’t come together in any satisfying way at the end. Like I said, there is a definite Japanese pacing to the film, which may turn off some of the red-blooded Americans looking for guns, girls, guts, and nothing else.
There are even moments of humor, but unfortunately, not often enough to save the movie. There are parts that drag, are a little long, and very, very strange. It retains it’s light-hearted and irreverent feel from start to finish. So all the elements seem to be in place for a quirky film and, as mentioned, some of them do gel. But the film could and should have done a lot more with the teenage girl, and with the Yakuza boss’ sister who seems to be on screen just for show.
Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl is off the cuff, cool, decadent and funny. It is just too bad it is riddled with pacing problems. I have seen several Japanese films where comedy is thrown into the film, both serious and slapstick, and some of these have left me laughing quite hard. This one just doesn’t cut it for me. Even though I liked the character development and the plot was ok I just couldnt get into this. With my complaints aside, and judging by the clip I attached, you should know whether or not this is a film you want to sit through or not. One thing is for sure, if you are new to Japanese cinema this will give you a good idea of what it’s all really about, good or bad.