Non-Stop (review)

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In an attempt to make himself feel like a man and impress the girl of his dreams, nebbishy restaurant cook Yasuda (Tomoro Taguchi) concocts a scheme to rob a bank. But his careful plans fall to pieces, and try as he might to salvage them, things go from bad to worse, and he finds himself being chased by convenience-store clerk Aizawa (Diamond Yukai), whom Yasuda pissed off with his detour into shoplifting. An endless — and brilliantly photographed — foot chase through city streets gets even more complicated when they run, literally, into Takeda (Shinichi Tsutsumi), the yakuza to whom Aizawa owes money… and who also sold Yasuda his gun. So now it’s a three-way chase as Takeda chases Aizawa chases Yasuda, all day and into the night. Sudden, unexpected violence combines with sudden, unexpected comedy in this fast and furious film, written and directed by Sabu, as we flashback to learn all three men’s stories, and discover that all are underachieving losers, no good at what they do and with nothing to lose — and nothing to gain — by their relay pursuit except a runner’s high and the exhilaration to make them, ironically, forget their troubles. With a bit of yakuza philosophy, a nerdy cop with a gun fetish, and comic male fantasies of sex and death thrown in for good measure, Non-Stop is like Run Lola Run meets Pulp Fiction, a real treat for black-comedy fans.

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