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  Cross Fire  
  Year: 2000
"It's quite warm here."
  Director: Shusuke Kaneko  
  Producer: Kazuya Hamana, Toshiaki Harada  
  Cast: Akiko Yada, Hideaki Ito, KazukiRyuuji Harada, Masami Nagasawa, Yû Yoshizawa, Hidenori Tokuyama, Toshiyuki Nagashima, Kaori Momoi  
  The Skinny: A young woman possesses the power to create and manipulate fire at will.  
     Junko Aoki (Akiko Yada) is a special young lady with the power of pyrokinesis. When a friend is murdered by a group of juveniles who are making snuff films, she sets out to take revenge. At first, her focus is on the teens but Junko soon finds out that there are more people involved than meets the eye. Apparently some very well respected people are funding these snuff films and now Junko is now at the top of their hit list for messing with their employees. Meanwhile, two detectives and a man with ESP are also hot on Junko's trail.
     Eventually we find out who is trustworthy and who isn't, but the film feels a bit convoluted from the sheer quantity of characters. For example, important new characters are introduced very late into the proceedings and their development feels rushed. Other characters disappear for long periods of time, and then reappear at the end to tie things up. And, though the film is good as a whole, the script could have used another draft.
     Thematically, Cross Fire explores the validity of vigilantism and the problem of young criminals in Japanese society. It is a well-directed piece, and the actors turn in very good performances. Akiko Yada is a very fine leading lady who portrays the struggle of living with such great power very well. She is a complex girl who, although basically good, must resolve whether it is right to punish those who have not been dealt with by the law.
     As is the norm for a Shusuke Kaneko film, the visual effects are excellent and the camera work is striking. The conclusion is dark yet satisfying, and justice is served to the people who ultimately deserve their fate. Cross Fire is not as fun as Kaneko's earlier work, but its definitely a worthy effort. (Magicvoice 2003)

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Ocean Shores
Japanese Language Track
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles


  Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen