Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Crows Zero (2007) & Crows Zero 2 (2009)

Crows Zero (2007)

Suzuran All Boys High School is known as the high school for thugs who try to conquer the school by beating each other in fist fights. During his last year in high school, Takiya Genji (Oguri Shun) transfers to Suzuran with the simple goal of being the king of the school, wanting to surpass his father who's already a mafia boss. 

The movie basically revolves around Genji trying to ally with different gang leaders in the school, and he does it with the help of Ken (Yabo Kyosuke), a gangster who's also an alumnus of Suzuran. While Genji has the skills, Ken has the knowledge on how to lead. The main advesary is Serizawa (Yamada Takayuki), the senior who has the strongest hold on the school. He leads his pack with three others and no one has beaten him yet. Genji plans to change that.

Maybe it's the Oguri Shun bias in me. Maybe it's just that I love my fictional high school bad boys. But I enjoy this movie way too much even though the premise is quite shallow, I think. But it's not the type of movie that you'd watch for depth anyway. And it it's fist fight and a lot of brooding from angsty teens that you want, then Crows Zero is perfect for you!

What I like about this movie is how our protagonist is so feisty when it comes to fighting but when it comes to dealing with people, he simply has no clue. Unlike the other gang leaders, he doesn't really know what to say and how to say things with bravado. He just fights and sometimes, he needs someone to do the talking for him. But through gaining comrades and allies, he learns to socialize and by the end of the movie, it's not just about conquering the school by himself and for himself.

Crows Zero ii
CROWS ZERO 2 (2009)

After defeating Serizawa, Takiya Genji is the reigning king of Suzuran. But this doesn't mean there's no more trouble waiting for him. The peace between Suzuran and its rival school, Housen, is broken when an old Suzuran student who killed a Housen student is released from prison. To add more trouble, a punch thrown by Genji to one of the rival school's student started the heat between the two schools. Troubles start to arise for our protagonists when Housen starts attacking them when they're vulnerable, putting one gang leader after another to the hospital. This doesn't sit well with Genji as some of his closest friends are beaten by Housen students. This may sound like a simplistic synopsis of everything that happened in the movie but I kind of feel like there are some things that are quite irrelevant to the story. I still enjoyed this movie though!

If in the first installment we see a growth in Genji, in Crows Zero 2 we fully see how much he has changed and grow into a leader. He's no longer just a thug out to prove something. Without Ken by his side this time, Genji needs to lead by himself, without anyone telling him what he should do next. And it's a nice change as he learn to takes command and to think before acting on instinct.

If there's something this movie is better at than the first, it has better fight scenes! There are definitely more one-on-one fist fights as the last few scenes show. We had a couple of good mano y mano and not just between Genji and the leader of Housen. 


Obviously, I have not much to say about both movies. I watched them both for the hotties and for some brutality, and I got both! It's definitely a fun movie to watch if you won't try to dig deep. It's a high school movie about thugs, what more could you expect?

Well, it turns out there are more to expect from it. There are genuine moments and such youthful vibrance that I guess we could attribute to the directing. Speaking of directing, these two are actually my first Takashi Miike films! And from what I have heard, they're two of the milder ones (in terms of gore and brutality) he has  to offer. I am frankly excited to see more.

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