Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekly schlock and awe movie time!


Why Sushi Girl Ian!!!? Why not? I like heist stories. This one has Mark Hamill, Tony Todd and bare assed woman covered in tasty fish. Who in their right  mind could pass on that?
Sushi Girl

Also, I like me some crime stories with a wyrd twist: The Usual Suspects, Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Score, Inside Man, Suicide Kings and even Reservoir Dogs (granted I saw this way too late and all the hype killed it a bit). Sushi Girl was touted as a good character driven crime story with an ending to shock and amaze.
A guy called Fish is just getting out of prison. Hooray for him! Well that is until a big goon escorts him to an abandoned restaurant. There he is reunited with four other gentlemen. See it seems this guy, Fish, was part of a diamond heist. He was part of a crew with four other men: Max, Crow, Francis  and Duke. The heist went awry, Fish was pinched by the coppers and the diamonds were lost. The four crooks now want to know what happened to Fish and the diamonds. See he was the bagman and was the last to have the loot. It was never found and they suspect Fish stashed them away for himself. Now they have him in a secluded locale with a nice dinner of fine sushi, a naked hottie as a serving dish and all the time in the world to get the answers they want from this guy named Fish. What follows is a night of beating the snot out of this guy Fish for information. It seems Max and Crow make a wager to get Fish to talk by throwing him a beating and torture. Then throw in Duke, who does some excellent scenery chewing, to try and get information out of this poor schlub his own special way. Then we get a few flashbacks to the heist and see how it starts and eventually falls apart. This all builds to an ending that is a shocker ( well not really).

Sushi Girl is a descent movie. However, it suffers from a bit Tarantino-itis. I just kept thinking this is something he passed on or was an attempt to jump onto the 90’s mean crime bandwagon very very late. It did not have the pop culture references that Tarantino likes to throw around, a quirky soundtrack, those self-indulgent moments or his take on sitting around discussing some item incessantly (coffee, hamburgers, etc). It is hard not to watch this and not think of his stuff though. That didn’t make it a bad film though.
Tony Todd was surprisingly intimidating and dark in his role as Duke, the boss. His little monologues were just some fantastic bits of scenery chewing. Moments like this I wonder why he doesn’t get more work. Then I look to Candyman……and it all comes crashing back. Mark Hamill does his best to not channel the animated joker, while still channeling the animated Joker. The other two are your text book twitchy guy and angry brute (Francis and Max). They do their roles well enough, but there is nothing really there that stands out above anybody else. The same for Fish who plays the victim of circumstance.
At least he isn't covered in bees with a hook hand. What the shit was that all about?

Speaking of Fish he takes a good amount of damage while being questioned. See this is where the movie goes from dark to pitch black. You can guess how they get Fish to talk right? Think hard…..and you got it. They throw him a beating. This goes from crime movie to torture the new guy for answers pretty damn quick. It all starts simple and then just goes to a bonkers level of terrible punishment.
The end you should see coming. Well that is if you have seen…well any movie before. Even if you can’t see the ending coming, it isn’t hard to venture a blind guess as to what might happen. Does that make it a bad film?
Sushi Girl (2012) Movie Image
This Jedi Master has seen better days. 

Nope. It might be the nostalgia factor to similar crime/violence/twist movies I have seen. It might be that it was low budget without looking terrible low budget. It might be for the amount of awesome cameos: Danny Trejo, Jeff Fahey, Sonny Chiba and Michael Biehn. How and why were these guys here? Were they buddies of the crew? Did they all happen to be passing by and decided to offer their assistance? Did they lose a bet? They need the money? Was it a favor? I know these guys are not huge Hollywood stars, but all of them in bit roles in one movie seems wryd. I would have thought any of them could have been a major player in this movie. It almost seems like they should have. This movie could be in any of their proverbial wheelhouses.
Sorry, small aside there.
So, is Sushi Girl awful? Well….nope. Is it hard to watch at times? Yep. Actually, I didn’t hate this movie. I enjoyed it almost entirely and it harkens back to a small, dark and violent time of Hollywood crime films.

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