a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

I’m Flash!

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Following up hard and fast on his disturbing masterpiece, Monsters Club, director Toshiaki Toyoda’s I’m Flash! doesn’t quite have the depth or resonance of his previous effort. In fact it’s pretty much a mess despite some moments of bravura filmmaking. Part gangster story, part send up of charismatic spiritual charlatans and part junket to take an all-star cast to vacation in Okinawa, it starts well enough with a beautifully choreographed car crash deus ex machina that obliquely sets the ball in motion for a pampered tele-spiritualist, Rui (Tatsuya Fujiwara) to hire a trio of bodyguards (Ryuhei Matsuda, Kento Nagayama, Shigetu Nakano) to protect him from further scandal. As the back-story unfolds and the simplistic pyschobably tale progresses under more and more baroque plot twists, the entire endeavor spins into a stasis of undeveloped ideas and pointless connections, albeit in a beautiful beach setting. Word up was that Toyoda had been working for years on what would be his genre film masterpiece with I’m Flash. He needed a little less flash and a little more substance.

Originally published in EL Magazine, Sept. 2012

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Written by Nicholas Vroman

September 1, 2012 at 4:17 am

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