Saturday, 3 April 2010

Crying Freeman


Crying Freeman; Action drama, Canada/ Japan/ France/ USA, 1995; D: Christophe Gans, S: Mark Dacascos, Julie Condra, Rae Dawn Chang, Tchéky Karyo, Byron Mann, Yoko Shimada

Emu O'Hara is making a painting of nature in San Francisco. Suddenly the strong assassin Yo shows up and Emu witnesses how he kills the son of the Yakuza boss. Yo spares her life, thus she leaves to Vancouver. There Emu meets him again, this time when he is eliminating the sole Yakuza boss. When he shows up one nights in her house, the two of them fall in love and spend some time together. Yo's superiors order him to eliminate her, he kills them instead and disappears. Emu gets his invitation and leaves to Japan. There he tells her that he was an ordinary pottery artist until someone was murdered there. Subsequently, the sect brainwashed him into becoming an assassin. Yo kills the enemies and persuades one member to spread the news that he is dead, while he runs away with Emu.

A good film full of polished mood and elegance is a rare example of a big screen adaptation of a manga by double authors (Kazuo Koike, Ryoichi Ikegami) that won the audience award at the Sweden Fantastic Film Festival. The action sequenes do tend to slide towards the unconvincing, yet they are breath taking since the authors decided to stay faithful to the comic-book style, even though they don't quite grasp the aesthetics of the original, whereas actor Marc Dacascos portrayed the hero appropriately mysterious and 'cool'. Slightly pompous, with an unusual love story between a killer and his victim, cult "Crying Freeman" immediately awakens a feeling of incompleteness after it ends, but as a whole it's undoubtedly an interesting and pleasant achievement.

Grade:++

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