Cyborg She (2008)
(12) Running time: 115 minutes
Director: Jae-young Kwak
Writer: Jae-young Kwak
Starring: Haruka Ayase, Keisuke Koide, Risa Ai
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
This is the kind of film that could only come from places like Japan, Korea and China, and only those places have the guts, skill and sense of humour and adventure to pull this off. I really enjoyed this, and it reminded me a bit of the excellent Save The Green Planet in its overall scale of ideas.
A loner celebrates his birthday and meets this gorgeous young girl who he falls madly in love with. As soon as they’ve spent a small amount of time together, she’s gone, leaves him and he spends the next year hoping she’ll return. A year later, on his next birthday, he does the same routine for his birthday, and she appears again, only slightly different. After a meal, singing happy birthday, and celebrating, in the same restaurant a gunman opens fire. The girl springs into action, dodging bullets and fends off the gunman by throwing him around the room like a toy, before making him drink the paraffin he’s brought with him, and throwing him out the window. Its clear this girl has superhuman strength and abilities, but why?
We later discover that HE himself created this girl in about 50 years time after an accident left him paralysed. He built this perfect robot, with all organs intact (his younger self tries to get a feel of her breasts, only to be slapped in the face and he almost crashes through a wall ) to prevent the accident which crippled him, and also stop all the wrong doings he saw on tv whilst bedridden. So, just your typical, Japanese love story then!
What makes this film, and most Asian films, so great, is the characters. They are just mental, they look confused half the time, and aren’t embarrassed about, well, embarrassing themselves. This film has a surprisingly high number of excellent special effects, including a massive earthquake. For a 12, some of the fights scenes are quite violent, bordering on a 15 I reckon. But its the relationship between the 2 leads that is just great. Witness her getting drunk for the first time and going all R2-D2 on us after he’s had an electric shock, and the way he tries to make her jealous and how she eventually deals with it. Its a sort of superhero movie, with a big big love story at its heart. And, in true Japanese fashion, we’re left with yet another twist in the tale near the end, just in case the viewer thought it was all getting ever so slightly normal.
A great film, great fun, good humour, touching, a bit confusing, and full of Asian charm.