Big Man Japan (Dai-Nipponjin) (2007) Review

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Everyone avoids him like a cyclone ranger

Big Man Japan (Dai-Nipponjin) (2007): 4 out of 10: I had such high hopes for this one; really high hopes. I love monster movies and the idea that a man turns into a giant to protect Tokyo from the various monsters that attack. This idea, which is a kind of Jet Jaguar (Godzilla vs. Megalon) crossed with Apache Chief (Super Friends), seems like perfect anime material.

Big Man Japan is a live-action mockumentary, however. Yes, groan now. Look, I loved this is This Is Spinal Tap as much as the next bloke, but the reason Spinal Tap worked was not that it was a fake documentary but because Stonehenge statue was 6 inches tall and in danger of being crushed by dancing dwarfs.

If you fake a documentary and don’t write jokes and funny bits, it simply is a boring documentary that isn’t true. This whole ‘the character and situations provide an inside laugh’ does not work. You got to write some bloody jokes.

Eighty percent of Big Man Japan comprises our hero, who is a dead ringer for Neil (the hippie) from The Young Ones, sitting. Sometimes he sits and rambles on about how bad his life is and sometimes, as God as my witness, he just sits. In what universe is this entertainment? The monster stuff tries too hard. Okay, that is not accurate, since the city design is so lacking in detail and believability, one must assume it looks that fake on purpose. It is the monsters themselves, however, that seem to strain to get a laugh. (Ooh a giant hairy scrotum with an extended eyeball.) But at least the monster bits were trying to be funny and in their own way were well done, which is more than can be said for the rest of the film.

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