I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) Movie Review | by tiffanyyong.com
Recommended Audience: Fans of Yo Oizumi 大泉洋, Kasumi Arimura 有村架纯, Masami Nagasawa 长泽雅美, Hisashi Yoshizawa, Yoshinori Okada, Shinsuke Sato, Kengo Hanazawa, Akiko Nogi and zombie movie fans
I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) Movie Synopsis
A mysterious virus suddenly spreads throughout Japan causing widespread panic. People infected with the virus rapidly transform into zombie-like creatures and are called ZQN (pronounced zokyun). The ZQN then attack people with superhuman strength and their victims eventually become ZQN as well.
Hideo Suzuki (Yo Oizumi 大泉洋), a 35-year-old manga artist, happens to meet a female high school student, Hiromi Hayakari (Kasumi Arimura 有村架纯). They escape from the city together, despite Hayakari being bitten by a baby ZQN. However, the baby ZQN that bit her did not have teeth, resulting in her being half ZQN. The pair then meets Nurse Yabu (Masami Nagasawa 长泽雅美) at a shelter. Yabu hopes she can draw an antibody from Hayakari.
I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) Viewer Rating: 3.5/5 ***
I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) Movie Review:
Having released just few months after the widely-acclaimed Train to Busan, it was pretty difficult not to compare I Am A Hero with the former, especially for audience who did not read the manga series the film was based on. So is it worse, comparable or better than the Korean film? Here’s some quick comparison for you guys to make the call.
Characters: The movie follows Hideo Suzuki (Yo Oizumi), the average past-quarter life-crisis wallflower manga artist. Similar to Seok Woo (Gong Yoo), he’s the opposite of the typical hero in action or zombie films. Being a stereotypical otaku, he imagine himself to be a hero, but he’s as cowardly as Seok Woo is selfish (initially).
While the Korean characters were put together because of the train ride, here, Hideo ended up with Hiromi (Kasumi Arimura), a schoolgirl he picked up on the streets. Unlike the Korean zombie flick which has strong and memorable casts on the train, the character-driven film focuses mainly on Hideo’s journey and the supporting characters he met on his way up to Mount Fuji were weaker in comparison.
But what made this character interesting was the contrast between his timidness and his capability. Being one of the few to own a sporting shotgun, Hideo did not dare to shoot (as it’s illegal -.-), making him a rather useless companion in a zombie apocalypse.
Aside from that, I Am A Hero also gave his selected zombies more screen time. The ZQN-zombies maintained their daily habits before transforming, an interesting depiction of the working class in Japan and how they could not get out of their jobs – which is almost like a zombie land.
While these zombies were also attracted by sound, I had to say the ZQN were a lot more disgusting and gruesome (the makeup was fantastic). I couldn’t help but wince when I see the in-your-face brain-smashing violence, a kind of blood-splattering gore which most films avoid nowadays.
Adopting many manga-like cinematography, this film provides more comic relief (than Train to Busan) to the otherwise gore and bloody plot. There were similarities when it comes to the zombie transformation (body contortion and changing of iris). I had to agree that the ZQN-infected transform in a waaaay cooler manner, especially when the ZQN-iris altered. However, the long (but scarily impressive) transformation made this infection process inconsistent throughout the film.
While there were several epic scenes – the zombie filled highway, the sumo-zombie, the escape scenarios played repeatedly in Hideo’s mind, there were some shortcomings too. The climb up Mount Fuji was slow, Hiromi had little to do after she semi-transform (I was expecting a bit more), the climax finale scene was slightly less impressive compared to Train to Busan’s massive chase and the ending was… bright (watch it to understand what I’m saying!).
Personally, I think I would have enjoyed this so much more if there wasn’t the high former mental benchmark to pass. But this is still a better-than-classic zombie thriller which is more light-hearted yet more gruesome (odd right?) than the Korean film .
Do You Know?
With half the production team from Korea, filming for the movie began early June, 2014 and finished August, 2014.
Behind The Scenes and Interviews
Check out I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) Official Website!
I Am A Hero (丧尸末日战 ｜ アイアムアヒーロー) is out in cinemas on 20 October 2016.