Thursday, 26 May 2016

Sake Bomb Review 2013 Japan

 Sake Bomb is an American Japanese film which falls somewhere between a low budget American comedy and an indie Japanese drama while retaining most of the good points and a few of the bad from both.

A comedic road movie about a sarcastic Asian American and his Japanese cousin. Sebastian is a bitter, self-deprecating wannabe Internet star from Los Angeles. He is recently dumped by his girlfriend and on the look out for someone new. When his cousin Naoto, a naive sake maker from Japan, shows up to find his own ex-girlfriend, Sebastian takes him to northern California to find her. They are a clash of cultures waiting to happen. Someone has to break first. Together they meet a colourful group of characters as they come to grips with who they are and the true nature of the girlfriends they're pursuing. 

Never take your shoes off when entering an American house...

A Sake Bomb is a shot of Sake dropped in to beer and then downed, this accurately describes the film as a Japanese man is dropped in to American culture head first. Co-starring Gaku Hamada and Eugene Kim as the Japanese and American cousins respectively, who both deliver great performances while also representing the different cultures of the East and West.

Gaku Hamada(Fish Story/See You Tomorrow, Everyone) is easily one of the most likeable actors working today. While delivering a subtle role he still always manage to convey a vulnerability which makes you rally behind him. His character of Naoto is very much Japanese, from his mannerisms to his shyness, he is used perfectly in this fish out of water role which often leads to extremely comical moments.

Eugene Kim plays the role of Sebastian who is the opposite of Naoto is nearly every way. Loud, opinionated, obnoxious and bordering on racist, he isn't the most likeable character. Although, as you get to know the character and understand the root of his problems, you do feel more sympathetic towards him and he will even be relatable to some.

Every time you hear a racist joke, do a Sake Bomb!

Tackling the issues of Eastern stereotypes by Westerners is handled extremely well for a low budget comedy, some of these scenes can actually be pretty emotional and recieve a good reaction. Other racial views are used for shock, which can also generate proper laughs, but it's not done in a cheap way.

The issues with Sake Bomb are it's let down by the familiarity. The story is pretty straight forward and there are no real twists or anything unexpected along this way. That could have elevated the film from good to great. However, there is a great emotional payoff with Sebastian's character which is worth it.

Sake Bomb is a fun buddy road movie, which isn't essential viewing but still an entertaining watch, it's similar to other American indie comedies in story but tackles subjects which are very different.


No comments:

Post a Comment