BIG WTF?! I honestly don't know what to think... this is waaay tooo much weird. I'm not used to this crazy Japanese imagery. Nevertheless, I have to say there are some bittersweet moments and some others that are absolutely funny, but I can't really tell. Monsters are definitely super-duper monstrous, no doubt that's a goal. Most likely, the director fed me bullshit extravaganza.
This film is something else... So many genres, feelings, emotions put together - and it works, creating unique experience. I loved the deadpan humour. I have to say, however, some early monster fights are rather disappointing, Big Man Japan went for some easy kills ;) Some scenes are hilarious (in a good way), especially grandpa or the baby monster.
I was in love with the idea - a mockumentary about a (less than) ordinary man who fights monsters both literal and self-created, but the execution wasn't there. Like Scabbard Samurai, which I felt was much better, the ending felt tacked on. My 8-year old loved the CG monster scenes, and wanted me to give it 5*. Well, when you get your own MUBI account you can rate things whatever you like you ungrateful litt
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.
The Finnish prog rock band Moon Fog Prophet has a great album called “The Superhero tired of constantly saving the world”. You see a kind of fatigue in Big Man Japan also; the weary, last of its kind superhero battling (live on TV) the most silly giant creatures and getting a bad rap both from TV viewers and producers. More tragic than funny, but above all weird. And the end, my friend, the end is like a nightmare.
That's a Matsumoto at heart, alright. Despite all the good intentions, the movie is never funny enough nor is the main character interesting enough. However, his movies always have great endings and this one is no different! Great soundtrack, too. I just think the symbolism is a bit too covered up by the crazy story.
I like the idea of this movie more than the actual execution. Matsumoto playing it straight is easily the best thing and the mockumentary aspect, the deadpan humour is great. Unfortunately the monster sequences, of which there are many, just didn't do it for me. Can understand why others enjoy it and it definitely has smarts. But overlong and at times boring, I think there's a better movie in there somewhere.
Nobody does weird like the Japanese. Love the Ultraman references at the end and the Stink Monster mating ritual. You will either love this or (like my wife) stare at it with total lack of comprehension. Here's a review: http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/big-man-japan-2009
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.
Big Man Japan walks the fine line of being both a very funny mockumentary and an exceptionally clever kaiju film, playing with the notions of the stereotypical giant monster picture. Hitoshi Matsumoto is magnificent on screen, behind the camera, and on the page. The characters, while fantastical, still feel fairly human, and even depressing at times. More than pleasant discovery.