REVIEW – Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler (2009)

Videovista have my review of the beautifully produced but appallingly written and conceived Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler directed by Toya Sato.

The film is based on a manga and an anime TV series and it constitutes an entry into one of my most favoured of sub-genres: the gambling movie.  Unfortunately, while the film’s first game works beautifully, the other games it comes up with are nowhere near as interesting and rely instead upon torrents of psychobabble and hysterical over-acting for their tension and drama.  Add to this toxic melange a socially regressive metaphor about the heroism of always playing by society’s rules regardless of how unfair they are and you have a film that is not only dumb but also quasi-fascistic.  Ugh.