Reviews
Tôkyô Zonbi (2005) 1 brainhalf brain
(Japan)

Alternate Titles:

Tokyo Zombie


There are some who call this movie the Japanese Shaun of the Dead, but that's like calling roadkill the highway version of steak. Sure, they're both dead, flat pieces of animal, but there's really only one you want to put in your mouth. Tokyo Zombie was nowhere near the level of Shaun, and the only reason to even compare them is that they're both zombie horror comedies. Admittedly, I was watching a dubbed version, but if the translation was accurate at all, the script was pitiful. The jokes were lame, the action dragged, the characters were unlikeable, and the story was disjointed. I think I laughed once during the whole movie.

The actors that did the voices for the leads in the dubbed version sounded a lot like the actors who dubbed Bio Zombie, which makes a much more favorable comparison to Shawn of the Dead. If you looking for a goofy buddy zombie movie made in the Eastern hemisphere (if that's not too specific), Bio Zombie is the way to go.

I don't think it was the actors' fault. I honestly think they were doing the best with what they were given. Tadanobu Asano, as Fujio, the dimwitted hero, is believable as a complete dunce, which is part of what makes him so unlikeable. His friend and ju-jitsu teacher, Mitsuo, played by Shô Aikawa, is smarter but just as much of a loser, which is a strange contrast to the normal teacher character in a movie with martial arts. Perhaps that was meant to be part of the comedy, but if so it was lost on me; I just found it puzzling.

The two of them accept the fact that the world is being overrun by zombies with the same mellow indifference with which they greet everything else. If there were pot in this movie, I would be more likely to compare it to a Cheech & Chong movie, but I don't think these guys can use drugs as an excuse for their behavior.

On their flight out of Tokyo, the two of them rescue a woman, Yoko (Erika Okuda), who immediately alienated my affection by screeching and complaining nonstop. She pretty much does that for the rest of the movie.

Although I've heard good things about this movie, I just can't recommend it. It was trying to be a dumb comedy movie, but instead just ended up being dumb.