An eccentric man aged about 40 lives alone in a decrepit house in Tokyo. He periodically transforms into a giant, about 30 meters tall, and defends Japan by battling similarly sized monsters that turn up and destroy buildings.
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I appreciate the very candid nature of Big Man Japan. All of his reactions and indirect answers to questions – very Japanese and true to life. Without reading too much into this story, I enjoyed watching Big Man Japan walk a line of much responsibility and little respect. It was a goofy film and it served its purpose.
I dug this a lot. Could the giant superhero represent our governments fighting their inevitable, telltale, propagandized enemies while the financial world continues playing their games pulling the profit strings and we all laugh. Did I dig to deep?
In Matsumoto's satirical tribute to the Kaiju films and serials of his youth (particularly Ultraman,) he portrays the sad, exploited, little man who is forced to carry on the thankless family tradition of protecting his vulnerable island nation. Through his masterful use of costumes, sets, special effects, and his own deadpan clowning, he dismantles the cult of technological progress and its complacent progeny.
Interesting kind of movie between documentary (or better: mockumentary) and parody. Liked the genre crossing and its comment on monster and superheroe movies very much and really had fun... especially with the weird end.
A tragicomic lamentation of boomers aging in a nation of indolent, disengaged modernity that has forgotten its past. A sardonic critique of the dubious incursion of Western influences on post-war Japan. A pathetic eulogy for old school traditions that hang onto life like a senile grandpa in a loincloth. Ridiculous, hilarious, outrageous and depressing as hell.
When concentrating on its sad sack excuse of a hero Matsumoto's faux-doc on a kaiju fighting loser is often entertaining and humorous. What takes away from the film, as it did on first view in '07 as well, is it's intentional crappy monster effects and an ending that has to be seen to be believed. The film wears out its welcome and what could have been biting satire winds up as silly as an Ultraman episode.