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Tetsuo : The Bullet Man (2010)

The third feature film in Shinya Tsukamoto’s Tetsuo trilogy continues his interest in themes involving human anger and rage and how we (and especially the Japanese) express and/or repress these emotions. They also feature characters who transform into some kind of mechanical-human hybrid, filmed in music-video cyber-punk style. The film is a bit of a mixed bag and a total domination of style over substance, although it does feature some gut wrenching sequences and images. Early on, lead character Anthony’s son is run down by a crazed motorist, a “metal fetishist,” who must have read too much JG Ballard. The sequence is harrowing and visceral, but the transformation it triggers in Anthony is outlandishly filmed and leaves one with little sympathy, only a headache. The rage that triggers his transformation from his son’s death is understandable, but much of the film lacks any kind of coherency. We’re given endless exposition about old experiments, so Tsukamoto piles on sins of the fathers to one of his many tired themes, but the whole film seems like an exercise made only so that he can film his hero blowing people away with bullets fired from his own body. Tapping into the root of anger and how that relates to our fetishist relationship with machinery and technology is an interesting idea, but Tsukamoto is no Cronenberg and the result feels less like Videodrome or Crash and more like Ang Lee’s fascinating disaster Hulk.

Photo courtesy of thefilmstage.com


  1. wronglikeright posted this