Keep on Rockin’

A free-spirited Japanese singing star is humbled by a trip to his hometown and the lure of his dying father's business in "Keep on Rockin.'" Schematic morality tale could play well wherever mainstream Japanese cinema is appreciated, with minor-key ancillary to follow.

With:
With: Kohki Okada, Hisashi Igawa, Maho Nonami, Akemi Ohmori, Rinka.

A free-spirited Japanese singing star is humbled by a trip to his hometown and the lure of his dying father’s business in “Keep on Rockin.'” Schematic morality tale could play well wherever mainstream Japanese cinema is appreciated, with minor-key ancillary to follow.

After five years of giddy success, members of Tokyo rock band the Bluff, who became famous playing glammy power pop, are stunned but not really surprised when their record label dismisses the band’s boisterous and self-absorbed lead singer, Eiji (toothy real-life rocker Kohki Okada). Vocalist splits to the seaside metropolis of his youth, discovering with the help of friends and family a new creative focus and the strength to assume control of his dad’s factory upon the gruff man’s passing. Initial reel promises a decadent drama in a rock milieu, but pic morphs into a sentimental family-based drama that takes about 10 minutes too long wrapping things up. Tech package is pro, without being particularly memorable. Veteran tube helmer Kazuyuki Morosawa’s credits include hit Japanese TV shows “Leave It to the Nurses” and “Tales of the Unusual,” while Okada voiced the maniacal Rock in the 2001 anime “Metropolis.”

Keep on Rockin'

Japan

Production: A Doubles production. (International sales: Doubles, Tokyo.) Produced by Fumiko Oga, Kazuyuki Morosawa. Directed, written, edited by Kazuyuki Morosawa.

Crew: Camera (color), Shogo Ueno; music, Kohki Okada; art director, Kiyohiro Suzuki. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Another View), July 3, 2004. Running time: 109 MIN.

With: With: Kohki Okada, Hisashi Igawa, Maho Nonami, Akemi Ohmori, Rinka.

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