3 October 2016 | KnatLouie
Cute and violent vigilante movie!
As I stumbled upon this movie as an in-flight flick going from Japan to Denmark, "Hero Mania: Life" (translated badly as "Maniac Hero") was a nice little surprise for me, as I'd never heard anything about it beforehand.
It's about a young man, Nakatsu (Masahiro Higashide), who is having a pre-midlife crisis ("I'm over 30 already!"), as he feels his life is going nowhere, and his job as a conveniance store-clerk is very unsatisfying. But suddenly one day he meets Toshida (Masataka Kubota), a red cap-wearing, slightly autistic kid, who happens to be a master of martial arts and constructing clever gadgets, which he uses to fight random bad guys on the street. After their first meeting, Nakatsu decides that his new life goal must be crime-fighting, as the local police-force aren't doing enough to prevent local gang-related muggings in their neighborhood, and he persuades Toshida to join him, even though none of them have any real law-enforcement experience.
Of course they have no clue on how to clean the streets, but they are soon joined by a couple of fellow vigilantes, like the cute Kaori (Nana Komatsu), and the cool Kusaki (Tsurutaro Kataoka), and after a while things escalate quite a bit... how and why, I will not elaborate on, but it's unexpected and action-packed though! The main bad guys are somewhat reminiscent of those from the Arnold Schwarzenegger-movie "Last Action Hero", with an evil and sophisticated mastermind controlling a psycho killer in a yellow rain-coat, that our "Kick-Ass" young vigilantes have to take out, to make the streets safe again.
The movie is a clever take on the vigilante-genre, and has a lot of silly comedy, as well as some more scary moments, so it's not really suitable for young kids, but teenagers (and older) would probably be delighted over the many zany stunts and crazy characters introduced by this film. I know I was! 8/10