Writer: Adam Sherman (Screenplay)
Starring: Tao Okamoto, Haruka Ade, Kihiro, Kentez Asaka, Mercedes Maxwell, Marcus Johnson, Haruna Ayane
Plot: A beautiful Japanese madam and her ladies. A deranged, drug-addled Tokyo gangster and his crew. A sadistic serial killer on the loose. The intersection of these stories, and the interior world of the characters, plays out against a dreamlike backdrop of ultraviolence and orgiastic sex, as everyone tries futilely to rewrite their futures and cheat death.
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Sex, Drugs, Repeat
Story: She’s Just a Shadow starts with Irene (Okamoto) a pimp in Tokyo that supplies the girls for the like gangsters drug addict Gaven (Kihiro) and his partner the ultra-aggressive Red Hot (Asaka), all in the back drop of a serial killer that pleasures himself to his victims while waiting for them to be run over by trains.
Thoughts on She’s Just a Shadow
Characters – Irene is the pimp for the gangsters, she supplies the girls as part of a family traditions, nobody dare touch her because of the connections she has, she does what she can to protect her girls, when the serial killer is picking off the local prostitutes. Gaven is the drug addict gangster, he is spiralling out of control with his actions. Red Hot is the aggressive gangster, if anybody starts a fight, he will finish it no matter how many people get killed in the situation.
Performances – This is a movie where it is hard for the main cast to perform, because of the excess pointless orgy scenes. When we get solo scenes, we do some strength, but not enough, Tao Okamoto is one of the few parts of the film you want to see more from, Kihiro becomes hard to watch as his drug addict side of things. Kentez Asaka does the loose cannon stuff well, but is basic for the most part of the film.
Story – The story here follows pimps and gangsters who are in a battle for power, who are being picked off by a deranged serial killer and set out to stop him. When we break this story down, the side that involves the serial killer, is interesting and risky because of just how twisted the killer is. Whenever we get into the gangster and pimp side of the film, we are going through the same drug filled orgies that just don’t seem have have any point to them. We get more scenes that feel like music videos that don’t push the story forward in any way, than actual progression in taking on the serial killer.
Crime – The crime side of the film puts us in the world most of these characters would operate in, filled with drugs and prostitution, it is the extremes of this world too.
Settings – The film is set in Tokyo which takes us to the main locations the seedy underworld the criminals would operate in.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that seems to forget how to tell a story and spends nearly all of the film just make music videos, while letting the interesting side of the film slip away from the audience.
Overall: Painfully experience.