Crow’s Thumb / Karasu no Oyayubi / カラスの親指
Crow’s Thumb follows a couple of con artists, Take (Hiroshi Abe) and Tetsu (Shoji Murakami), hoping to make their one last stand, make a bunch of money and butt out the business. Along the way they pick up Mahiro (Rena Nounen) and her maddeningly badly acted sister, Yahiro (Satomi Ishihara) and her boyfriend, Kantaro (Yu Koyanagi). At nearly three hours, Crow’s Thumb a maddening plod of back stories, a moderately engaging centerpiece where the crew rips off some bookmaking thugs and a totally unnecessary coda which attempts a Melville-like switcheroo – putting everything you’ve seen into a new perspective – that ends up being just another MacGuffin in a plot full of MacGuffins. There seems to be a bit of a revival in heist and conmen thrillers coming out of Japanese studios these day that range from the worse to the worser. Director Tadafumi Ito seems to be vying for the worst, with his brain-dead adaptation of a popular novel that replaces any real thrills or anything beyond the numbers with his directorial sloppiness.
Originaly published in EL Magazine, December 2012.