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Title Info

  • type: movie
  • grade: exemplary
  • form: sub
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title may offend the sensitive.
  • people: Oshii
  • made: 2000
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This movie courtesy of the Melbourne International Film Festival. This is a grim and grimm movie, but it does pack a punch. The story begins with a fairly long introduction which introduces a post war Japan filled with unrest and an active terrorist underground. Since these guys play serious a special forces division was created to combat the most violent terrorist factions. Of course the special forces, while ruthless and effective, are disliked by the people and the regular police. You can easily be fooled into thinking that a violent action movie is in the offing, but instead it turns into a character piece chronicalling two characters reactions to an event at the start of the movie. One is a silent special forces officer, the other a young girl whose sister was killed in the resistance. The atmospheric development of character and mood, with rich subtext and symbol, continues to build steadily although the situation proves to be more complex it appears. The conclusion is intense, very fitting, completes the story and earns a `nfts' tag.

This is a fairly gruelling movie, long and patiently paced but constantly building. Rich in symbol, and as a result somewhat confusing, but it all feels right. This is greatly enhanced by the use of `little red riding hood' to tie it all together. But be warned, this isn't the disney version, this is the real grimm brothers thing. Moody and atmospheric, initially confusing, it works very well to link the subtext of the movie into a strong and coherent whole (at least by the conclusion). Character and dialogue is rich, believable and fitting to the story. The movie does have some action, but those who like slow building drama, a bit of creepy stuff and gritty `spy' films will probably be the most happy. Those wanting super-heroics and an action fest probably should not bother. Those easily upset (raises hand) are likely to have mixed feelings, as with all films that are strong and skilled, but perhaps too strong.

The animation is interesting and high quality. Deep color, although the dark tone precludes much bright color, with good linework and a strong sense of atmosphere. Some of the backgrounds and wideshots are a bit soft, looking more like a watercolor painting than anything else, but it all works. Incidental effects such as water, rain and dark sewers are done very well. Technical design and action animation is skilled and strong, but done more for effect than perfect correctness. This is most obvious in the special forces suits and weapons, which don't make perfect sense, but make such a wonderful image. The voices are excellent, fitting the characters and with a good sense of drama.

Authoritative Site

Want to know a lot of detail about Jin-roh, including incredibly obscure stuff like which cinema's in Japan had it? Well, head on out to this authoritative Jin-Roh site and find out. The author is also one of the most active critics of this page, so send him e-mail about his page design. (Just kidding...and besides, most of the time he's correct and justified).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:20 WST 2009