Tuesday, December 9, 2014

KITE (2014)

Directed By: Ralph Ziman 
Written By: Brian Cox 
Based on the film by: Yasuomi Umetsu 
Cinematography By: Lance Gewer 
Editor: Megan Gill 

Cast: India Eisley, Samuel L. Jackson, Callan McAuliffe

Never Underestimate a Girl with Nothing to Lose. Based on the groundbreaking, cult classic anime, KITE tells the story of Sawa, a young woman living in a corrupt society where crime and gangs terrorize the streets. When Sawa's mother and policeman father are found victims of a grisly double homicide, she begins a ruthless pursuit for the man who murdered them. With the help of her father's ex-partner, Karl Aker, and a mysterious friend from her past, she becomes a merciless teen assassin, blasting her way through the dark world of human trafficking only to uncover a devastating truth.

Unfortunately it seems to be a trend that either Kellan Lutz or Samuel L. Jackson will appear in a film destined to make my worst of list. This year Mr. Jackson doesn't appear in my #1 pick though Lutz most likely will for the second year in a row. Though Jackson doesn't make it to the top. It's not through lack of trying.

I am familiar with the infamous anime that this film is based upon. This plays like a censored version of the anime tale and not the shortened edited version available on Netflix. Even that was more racy and exciting. glad they left out the sexual aspect of the film. The full unedited version is a rare find and much more explicit.

The live action version of Kite is significantly toned down and is based on the 45 minute censored anime version (Rated 16+ by Anime Works) and not the uncut 18+ Kitty Media version.

Most of the characters are original to the live action and don't appear in the anime version.

This seems like a mistaken project as to create the world, violence and destruction of the original anime. You would need quote a budget and if not. You would have to change it around so that you make the material compelling story wise or visually ant dramatically. This film seems to fail in all those aspects.

Unfortunately there is nothing noteworthy or good about this film. Though an action film none of the action sequences are particularly exciting, interesting or even shot that well. The fight choreography is basic and feels lazy only because it looks like the actors are really taking their steps that they are following.

There is a scene of a gang using parkour, but after that scene never used again. That you wonder what was the use.

The story is predictable, but the revelations it shows it treats like grand endings.

This film just feels like it is struggling, even though it is based on an infamous Magna, the film just seems to borrow elements from so many recent and better films, that it really barely has any identity or definition for itself.

The film looks grungy and nothing really pretty or interesting to look at except for some of the actors.

Considering this film is trying to be as visual as thy film. This is a film that deserves to be highly stylized. Instead it seems lazily shot. With no interest in livening up the story.

The film ends up feeling gloomy and actually boring even with all the action going on. Which is strange for an action film as the action usually distracts us from other things that might be wrong with the film love acting or story. Here with no distractions we are forced to really focus on the film and anything that might hold our interest and there is none.

David R. Ellis was initially the film's director, however part way through filming Ellis was found dead in the bathroom of his Johannesburg hotel room. As a result Ralph Ziman took over as director.

I would complain about certain aspects of the film like exploding bullets, but those are holdovers from the original anime.

Now I understand that the film is 90 minutes long based on a original film that was only 50 minutes and even then pushing it. So like it's predecessor here the film feels long and like it is trying too hard to be or copy a film like HANNA. Which at least had it's own story and style.

India is cute and a young actress who manages to look like a little girl even though she is a woman which works or her character getting into situations and shocking the villains when getting out. Though in some scenes the specialization of her an her image is disturbing though again a holdover from the anime. She is ok in the role I just wish there was a better movie for her to star in, in her debut movie. Though there will hopefully be bigger and better then this

It seems like mostly her whole disguise is wear different color wigs.

Luckily the film won't be a intrusion on anyone's resume as it seems like he film is basically released straight to DVD. Instead of a wide theatrical release. It seems each year that while a great actor Samuel l. Jackson most star in ether the worst or one of the worst films of the year. Luckily for him while also cast in usually the better films of the year simultaneously.

This would be just another lame HANNA knock off if not for having Samuel L. Jackson in the cast and also for it not being based in an infamous Popular anime title. That was more sexually based. They kept the storyline the same for the most part and kept as many of the visuals as they could recreate. As to make it like the anime would be way to expensive. Even just thinking of the stunt work alone.

One could see the reason for wanting to remake the film as a live action film. Though if you have to cut corners and can't get the right budget. Why bother as you will have a compromised vision, especially if you don't use ingenuity and creativity to make up for what you lack.

Trust me skip this film and as with most remakes and reboots. Just watch the original.

Grade: F

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