A zesty romantic comedy about a glam career woman who finds true love as a bicycle courier, "Messengers" is a brightly limned package that's as smart as its heroine's Lycra shorts. Decked out with engaging characters and attractive leads, pic is a reel too long but good audience-pleasing fare nonetheless.

A zesty romantic comedy about a glam career woman who finds true love as a bicycle courier, “Messengers” is a brightly limned package that’s as smart as its heroine’s Lycra shorts. Decked out with engaging characters and attractive leads, pic is a reel too long but good audience-pleasing fare nonetheless.

Well-known model Naoko Iijima toplines as champagne-quaffing Naomi, who, while fleeing bankruptcy in her Alpha Romeo, knocks over a biker (Hiroyuki Yabe) and abjectly takes his place in the small-time delivery service, Tokyo Express, which he runs with his partner, Suzuki (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, from popular TV group SMAP). After a klutzy start — played with gallant humor by Iijima — Naomi decides to stay with the company and save face with her double-dealing ex-b.f. (Tetsuya Bessho) by grabbing his employers’ courier account from a bigger, more aggressive firm. Pic ping-pongs between off-bike character scenes and elaborate sequences in which the two competing bike firms speed through the streets of Tokyo, using various dirty tricks. Final race, at almost 20 minutes, is a mite overstretched, but pic’s good-naturedness is infectious, with helmer Yasuo Baba pushing all the right buttons.

Messengers

(JAPAN)

Production

A Toho Co. release of a Fuji Television Network/Pony Canyon/Shogakukan production, in association with Premier Intl. (International sales: Pony Canyon, Tokyo.) Directed by Yasuo Baba. Screenplay, Masashi Todayama; story, Hoichoi Prods. Camera (color), Genkichi Hasegawa; editor, Takuya Taguchi; music, Yusuke Honma; theme song, Toshinobu Kubota; art director, Tomio Ogawa. Reviewed at AMC multiplex, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, Nov. 28, 1999. Original title: Meshanja. Running time: 117 MIN.

With

With: Naoko Iijima, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Hiroyuki Yabe, Kotomi Kyono, Yuzo Kayama, Tetsuya Bessho, Shigemitsu Ogi, Shinsuke Kyo, Shinsuke Aoki, Yuko Ito.
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0