Monday, March 21, 2016

Film Review: Sushi Girl (2012)

Sushi Girl (Review)
United States/2012
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"...very stylish, suspenseful, and entertaining."
 
After being released from prison, Fish (Noah Hathaway) is summoned by his former boss, Duke (Tony Todd), to answer some questions about a few missing diamonds...

Sushi Girl is a crime/thriller with a pinch of mystery. The film follows a group of criminals: Fish, Duke, Crow (Mark Hamill), Max, and Francis. Over six years ago, this group committed a violent robbery. Before they could successfully escape, Fish was caught and the diamonds went missing. Fast forward to the present, Duke has reunited the crew under false pretenses. What's supposed to be a 'welcome home party' becomes a night of torture as the crew try to force Fish into confessing. The film keeps you engaged through a well-constructed mystery as well as some intense interrogation scenes. Unfortunately, the ending was fairly mediocre.

Sushi Girl is a very good movie. It's a stylish, tense, and engaging thriller. The characters are lively and memorable, the dialogue is mostly fresh, and the mystery is great. It packs a few twists and turns here and there, as well. I absolutely loved this film... throughout the first two acts or so. Unfortunately, the film starts to crumble a bit during its climax and ending. There are a few scenes that make you shout: Why?! The plot contrivances start to pile up from out of nowhere and everything starts to feel so contrived. It's almost like the writer gave up before finishing the narrative. It's just so utterly disappointing. It doesn't ruin the film or make it a bad movie, but it does besmirch the otherwise great experience.

The acting was great, though. Noah Hathaway is splendid with his facial expressions. His lines are often missing some much needed conviction, but he's otherwise good. Mark Hamill, on the other hand, lights up the screen with his splendid performances. I thought Tony Todd did well, too. The supporting cast is also good. The film is shot very well, each frame meticulously crafted to deliver great detail – or obscure some. The use of music in this film is also superb. The original soundtrack was great, too. The film is written by Destin Ptaff and Kern Saxton; Saxton also directs. The writing follows a familiar formula (robbers meeting in a remote location and turning against each other), but it was mostly good. The direction is stylish and effective. Just a note for the producers/writers: If you have a twist planned for the ending, don't leave such a major hint in the title. It's incredibly frustrating when I can see the ending before I even commit to watching the film.

Overall, Sushi Girl is a very good film. Sure, it loses some steam and becomes contrived towards the predictable ending, but it is also very stylish, suspenseful, and entertaining. Even with the flaws I noted for the final act, I still had a great time. I recommend it for fans of the genre.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, including scenes of torture, and nudity.

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