Pretty simple premise with this movie. A dguy watches his son get murdered while his wife berates him for not seeking revenge. He turns into a human weapon to exact his revenge. It’s pure cyber cinema at its best delivered by a master at the top of his game, Shinya Tsukamoto. If you like Tetsuo 1, you’ll probably like this. People who didn’t like it seem to be turned off by the fact this movie was actually filmed in English. If this won’t bother you then you’ll like it. I, personally, didn’t watch any of the previous films and I didn’t feel like I was out of the loop. We’ve seen Tokyo rendered as an oppressive urban jungle a million times, so for me this was already familiar territory.
Bullet Man is certainly among Tsukamoto’s most experimental films, but in a completely different way, due to its casting decisions, and the bold choice of shooting the dialog entirely in English, as I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Each line written is so stiff, and each time it’s spoken there’s just no real softness to any of the moments intended to be emotional. . There is no denying Shinya Tsukamoto’s genius though that genius may fall short when it comes to consumer grabbing appeal. What I mean by that is, if English is your first language, you won’t get as much enjoyment out of the film. The comedy is instead rendered annoying and there were times I didn’t think I could make it through all the way. Don’t get me wrong, its a great sci fi metal film, but as a general film is hovers above slightly average.
Maybe someone who don’t know Tsukamoto will appreciate it for it’s fine director’s style or for the incomparable music, but it’s better if you make a comparison with the first one, that will remain an absolute masterpiece. Also, interesting note that coming off fame for The Social Network soundtrack, Trent Reznor has provided the end credit theme for the film. There’s something all too appropriate about this, as early Nine Inch Nails videos owed a lot to Tsukamoto’s film Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Even though I haven’t seen all the films in the set, Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo trilogy tells of the dehumanization of our modern, high-tech society. If nothing more, this film has sparked my intention to track down the others and give them a watch. Yes, there’s no getting away from the industrial edge, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Akiko Monou as Bossick’s wife on the other hand doesn’t work that well, its a dull performance mostly because of her dialog in English. Ironic how the films unique selling point is its ultimate drawback. It’s an obvious attempt to play to the international market, but it’s one that won’t work. That must be why the film revolves around an American named Anthony who is living and working in Tokyo and married to a Japanese woman. Best of both worlds right? Sadly, this film might leave you with a bit of a headache but the time in between words is well done and from what I can gather, this film certainly makes the trilogy come full circle. A lot of complaints that this film is basically Tetsuo 2 shot on HD. Fortunately for me this whole world was new to me so I wasn’t bogged down with the comparisons. All these negative comments tend to forget what this movie is about, which is introducing Tetsuo to a new audience.