Before We Vanish
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The Film Stage
Anytime it feels that Before We Vanish is getting too caught up in its thought process, the director is always ready with a flash of ultra violence, slapstick humor, or a pithy line.
The New York Times
Mr. Kurosawa, a prolific and skilled genre master, spins this parable with a light, nimble touch, punctuating heavy passages of exposition with punchy, modest action sequences and snatches of incongruously bouncy music.
On its own, this is a fun, broadly satirical alien-invasion film, more self-aware than self-serious, but its beauty, its poignancy, comes from its relationship to Kiyoshi Kurosawa's other work.
The A.V. Club
It’s minor pleasures from a major talent: B-movie fun in the key of Kurosawa.
Playing frequently like an absurdist political satire with only flashes of violence, this low-tension, drawn-out work won’t gratify the chills or adrenaline rushes fanboys crave, but the ending strikes a romantic chord so pure that all but the most jaded cynics will be moved.
Los Angeles Times
If Before We Vanish isn't nearly as focused or accomplished as Kurosawa's horror masterpiece "Cure" (2001), or as shattering as his magnum opus "Tokyo Sonata" (2008), it's nonetheless a reminder that he has few equals when it comes to spinning even the flimsiest B-movie template into a cinema of ideas.
The promise of Before We Vanish’s early moments is never fully realized, however, as the movie plods and meanders through an overly-familiar narrative on its way to a half-baked and uneven conclusion.
The Hollywood Reporter
Perpetually shifting gears between playful sci-fi pastiche, quirky rom-com and apocalyptic thriller, Before We Vanish might have worked better as a single dedicated genre, but it becomes a little scrambled trying to cover several at once.
The ropey special effects and platitude-heavy climax mean that the film goes out with a whimper rather than a bang.
The movie is every bit as bloated as his last few, but its charms remind us of his great potential (and potential greatness).
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