Starring Masami Nagasawa, Masaki Okada,
Fight Choreography by ?
Directed by Yuichi Fukuda
Gintama is an adaptation of a popular Japanese anime and manga about a world in which aliens took over the Earth during the Edo-period, and all swordsmanship has been outlawed. Enter Gintoki and his friends, who are set out to recover a powerful sword that may be able to swing the balance of power once recovered, but find that the mission is far more dangerous than they believe, and they aren’t the only ones looking to possess the sword, and must ultimately defeat the serial killer wielding it…
At least that’s what I think they are trying to do. It’s really hard to tell, partly because this film is really, really bad.
The performances are okay, but even if they weren’t they are the least of this film’s problems.
I’ll admit up front I’ve never seen the anime, so I don’t know how accurate it is. Truthfully it shouldn’t matter. Films should be able to stand on its own two feet, and not dependent on having read or seen anything else (unless it’s part of another film). This film has a group of silly, unfunny characters, an unlikable hero, unnecessary and 4th wall breaking that is really not funny save for one, and only one scene that evokes a Miyazaki film, and tries way too hard to stage scenes and moments right out of the anime, which comes off looking silly.
There was potential in the story, but too many times the film want to be the Naked Gun of live-action manga films, but first you need to have more successful ones before doing that. The film is mostly a comedy, and there isn’t as much action as you’d think, and what is there isn’t very good, despite being glossed over with special effects. At no level does this film work, not as a comedy and not as an action film.
Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 2
I nearly gave this film a 0, but fans of Gintama may get more out of it than I did. If you want an offbeat batshit crazy Japanese film, I’d suggest Tokyo Tribe instead.