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 Casshern (キャシャーン)

Retro-futuristic action film based on an animated television series from the early 1970's.
Director Kazuaki Kiriya   Writer Kazuaki Kiriya   Actors Yusuke Iseya   Kumiko Aso  
Released:25 April 2005 (Japan)
View on YesAsia
Review by nicos on 11 May 08

If you can imagine turning Pink Floyd The Wall, Flash Gordon, Frankenstein and Power Rangers in to a fruit smoothie packed with CG you'll have a good idea of what Casshern is like...beautiful to look at, but completely bizarre.

Casshern starts after the Greater Eastern Federation (presumably communist) have defeated the Europe Union in a 50 year war. The actual year the film is set isn't defined, but the designs use a range of themes from the industrial revolution up towards the near future. The plot is based around a young man who dies and comes back as super hero to fight the bad guys (or was it that good guys??).

Starting with the good points... Casshern is visually gorgeous and full of imaginative environments. The cast is also hard to fault. On the downside the story felt overly complex and seemed to have some underlying moral messages which didn't do it any favours. A few of the scenes also felt over dramatised, which can make your index finger subconsciously shift towards the fast forward button.

On the Casshern DVD front cover there is a quote saying “Better than both Matrix sequels put together...” that's possibly raising peoples levels of expectation too high, I would agree with “Looks better than both Matrix sequels” but that's about it.

In summary, the film is worth watching for the visual experience alone, whether or not you'll enjoy the plot is another matter. If you bare in mind that this is the first film to be written and directed by fashion photographer/music video producer Kazuaki Kiriya it should make a bit more sense!

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