No More Cry!!!

Ham is in plentiful supply in "No More Cry!!!" an anarchic Japanese laffer about a Tokyo fried-food vendor.

Ham is in plentiful supply in “No More Cry!!!” an anarchic Japanese laffer about a Tokyo fried-food vendor. Turning three exclamation marks into a trademark, the pic reunites comedian Sadao Abe with helmer Nobuo Mizuta and screenwriter Kankuro Kudo, who guided Abe’s 2007 super-hit “Maiko Haaaan!!!” This “Cry!!!” will resonate in a similar way with locals on its mid-November release, but offshore will be largely overlooked.

Looking almost handsome here compared with his previous turn as a geeky geisha fanboy, Abe is generally entertaining with his ham-cutlet hawker’s Jerry Lewis-like schtick.

However, the plot, about long-lost brother Yusuke (Eita) whose comedy act is in meltdown, is less satisfactory. As with “Maiko” and his punk-rock comedy, “The Shonen Merikensack,” Kudo’s initially expert script lets the story lapse into narrative chaos after 60 minutes. This formula appears to work with Japanese auds but won’t cut it with international viewers, who will expect the clever setups to be more sustained in a movie lasting more than two hours. Mizuta’s direction keeps pace with Kudo’s frenetic writing and Abe’s mugging, but struggles to keep the film unified.

No More Cry!!!

Japan

Production: A Toho release of a Nippon Television Network presentation of a Nippon Television Network, Toho Co., Video Audio Project, Yomiuri Telecasting Corp., Otonakeikaku Co., Be-Wild, Sapporo Television Broadcasting Co., Miyagi TV, Shizuoka Dai Ichi Television Corp., Chukyo TV Broadcasting Co., Hiroshima Telecasting Co., Fukuoka Broadcasting Corp. production. (International sales: Nippon Television, Tokyo.) Directed by Nobuo Mizuta. Screenplay, Kankuro Kudo. Produced by Nobuyuki Iinuma, Keitaro Shimizu. Executive producers, Hiroshi Miyazaki, Seiji Okuda, Naoki Suganuma.

Crew: Camera (color), Koichi Nakayama; editor, Seigo Hirasawa; music, Taro Iwashiro; production designer, Tsuyoshi Shimizu. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (market), Oct. 20, 2009. Original title: Nakumonka . Running time: 134 MIN.

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