A romantic triangle revolving around a beautiful heart patient inspires bitter rivalry between boyhood friends in Japanese meller “Under the Same Moon.” Very different in tone from recent work by Kenta Fukasaku — who scripted both “Battle Royale” pictures and took over directing duties when his father, cult helmer Kinji, died during the shoot of the second — “Moon” still moves at a brisker pace than regular Japanese weepies. Solid adherence to the rules of Asian melodrama translated into respectable B.O. at home, but offshore, “Moon” faces an eclipse.
Well-to-do medical intern Tetsuya (Yosuke Kubozuka) and orphaned mystic and painter Don (Edison Chen) have been infatuated with Emi (Meisa Kuroki) since childhood. After Emi’s father dies in a fire, Don is jailed, but escapes seven years later when he learns Tetsuya and Emi are to marry. On the lam, Don finds trouble, but leaves a trail of goodwill; meanwhile, squeaky-clean Tetsuya harbors a sinister, if easily guessed, secret. Helming is clean and lensing crisp, but the film has a TV feel. Performances are good enough, but the naturalism of Hong Kong-based, Canadian-born thesp Edison Chen is at odds with his Nipponese co-stars.