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The Auteurs Daily: Venice. Tetsuo the Bullet Man

 

The Auteurs Daily

Tetsuo the Bullet Man

"Brace yourself for disappointment," warns Todd Brown at Twitch. "As painful as it is to say, Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo the Bullet Man is far indeed from being the triumphant return to the iconic world that created a rabid cult around Tsukamoto. Worse than that, not only does this latest incarnation of Tetsuo fail to live up to his predecessors but he also represents the first, one hundred percent, abject failure of Tsukamoto's career."

 

Lee Marshall, too, writing for Screen, finds that Tsukamoto "adds nothing new to the Tetsuo franchise with this loud but mostly empty companion piece to his two metal cyberpunk classics, Tetsuo, the Iron Man (1989) and Tetsuo II The Body Hammer (1992). Fanboys will still lap up the jumpy urban montages, the deafening industrial noise soundtrack, the man-turns-metal special effects - admittedly good - which come across like early David Lynch let loose in a scrapyard. But Bullet Man's scrappy storyline, stilted acting and dialogue and surprising lack of thematic depth will attract few new converts."

For Leslie Felperin, writing in Variety, "with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a Transformers movie."

"The dialogue is lame, the acting is stilted and the film lacks almost any color, but that won't matter to those for whom noise and mayhem are sufficient, and it's over in less than 80 minutes," sighs Ray Bennett in the Hollywood Reporter.

Update, 9/9: Twitch has an international trailer and the original Japanese teaser.

 

So Brown’s main disappointment was Tsukamoto’s style became ruined by HD? While not a weird complaint, I can dig that it must be incredibly jarring compared to the original Tetsuo and even the gun-obsessed sequel. But I’ve got to say: the plot for this still sounds exactly like Tetsuo II but with a conveniently placed American to make all those gun jokes more of an elbow-to-the-ribs.
Just saw Bullet Man at Tribeca and my biggest problem was that there was no new story. Its basically Tetsuo 2 shot on HD. Pros: Its good to see the the classic Tsukamotos effects, the iron man is looks GREAT, and and the fight scenes are over the top. Cons: story drags, dialogue is horrible, no new Tsukamoto visuals, editing is like watching a CSI, But I must say…the movie is still a must see.
All these negative reviews tend to forget what this movie is about, which is introducing Tetsuo to a new audience. I found it quite enjoyable and on par with the other films in the same canon. Peep my review here: http://thefilmstage.com/zna

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