Quantcast
become a Patreon patron

maryann johanson | #BlackLivesMatter

The Most Terrible Time in My Life (review)

On the seedy side of Yokohama, Maiku “Mike” Hama (Masatoshi Nagase) — “that’s my real name” — runs a detective agency out of a rundown movie theater. He doesn’t seem to do much investigating — instead, he gets into a lot of trouble, gets called “punk” by the local cops, and gets beaten up quite a bit. When he comes to the aid of a Chinese waiter, Hai Ting (Yang Haitin), in a mah jongg parlor who’s getting harassed by yakuza thugs, Mike finds himself agreeing to help locate the waiter’s lost brother, a yakuza hitman… which draws Mike deep into a gang war that threatens to shift yakuza politics all over the East, with Taiwanese and Hong Kongese gangs in Japan — the self-proclaimed “New Japs” — killing each other like crazy. The severed fingers that abound suggest a possible inspiration in early Quentin Tarantino, though this 1993 film predates even Pulp Fiction. Shot in glorious black-and-white — faces linger in shadow, and the flicker of the silver screen invades Mike’s office — and with a hard-boiled narration provided by Our Hero, this is a timeless comedy punk noir that could be taking place anytime from the 1950s onward — Mike’s classic mini-convertible and the groovy 70s wacka-chicka score only add to the temporal displacement. But Terrible is serious fun, a B movie with an agenda: sending up Japan’s notorious xenophobia. Plus, it’s “Recommended by the Japan Association of Detective Agencies,” so it’s educational, too.


When you purchase or rent almost anything from Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, and iTunes (globally), you help support my work at Flick Filosopher. Please use my links when you’re shopping at either service. Thank you!


MPAA: not rated

viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
posted in:
reviews
explore:

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

Pin It on Pinterest