A yakuza looks for redemption and his gang searches for soulmeister James Brown in comedy that rises to the occasion. Pic by helmer Kazuyuki Izutsu, who hit B.O. gold in 1999 with "Nodojiman," is unlikely to travel far beyond Nippon. Remake chances promising, with a cast of the caliber of Robert De Niro, Sandra Bullock and Danny Glover.

A yakuza looks for redemption and his gang searches for soulmeister James Brown in “Get Up!”, a slight comedy that spasmodically rises to the occasion. Pic by helmer Kazuyuki Izutsu, who hit B.O. gold in 1999 with “Nodojiman” (about a singing competish), has garnered a chipper $5.6 million since opening in mid-August but is unlikely to travel far beyond Nippon. However, remake chances could be promising, with a cast of the caliber of Robert De Niro, Sandra Bullock and Danny Glover.

Following a violent shoot-out that’s the film’s solitary bullet-fest, the wife of yakuza Habara (Toshiyuki Nishida) runs off with their daughter, Kaori. Twenty-five years later, the feisty Kaori (Takako Tokiwa) is managing celeb impersonators when papa-san is set to do a five-year stretch. To cheer up Habara, his incompetent hoods decide to kidnap his hero –James Brown. But they abduct a JB impersonator (Willie Raynor) from Kaori’s troupe instead, putting estranged father and daughter on a collision course. Broad perfs provide diminishing returns and Tokiwa lacks charm as the moody Kaori. Other tech credits are adequate and soundtrack’s use of soul classics helps pass the time.

Get Up!

Japan

Production

A Cine Qua Non presentation a Cine Qua Non, Dentsu, Happinet Pictures, Good New, Memory-Tech, Artist Film production. (International sales: Cina Qua Non, Tokyo.) Produced by Ishihara Hitomi. Executive producer, Lee Bong-ou. Directed by Kazuyuki Izutsu. Screenplay, Izutsu, Daisuke Habara.

Crew

Camera (color), Hideo Yamamoto; editor, Nobuko Tomita; music supervisor, Eitestu Takamiya; art directors, Osaka Kazumi, Fumiteru Suzaka. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (Open Cinema), Oct. 5, 2003. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Toshiyuki Nishida, Takako Tokiwa, Taro Yamamoto, Willie Raynor.
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