Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shamo (军鸡 -2008)

Shawn Yue - Ryo Narushima
Francis Ng - Kenji Kurokawa
Ryo Ishibashi
Dylan Kuo
Terri Kwan
Siu-Lung Leung
Annie Liu
Masato - Sugawara Naoto

Director Soi Cheang's follow up to Dog Bite Dog, SHAMO tells the story of the psychotic anti-hero Ryo, and his rise through the brutal world of competition fighting.

After barbarically slaughtering his parents, 16 year old Ryo is sent to a prison for boys. Continually tortured by his fellow inmates, Ryo takes up karate training after a savage beating leaves him for dead. Returned to society after 3 years, Ryo catches the attention of the local triads for his natural ferocity and dedication to destruction. Convinced to enter underground, no rules fighting tournaments, Ryo easily demolishes the competition. Seemingly unstoppable, Ryo's inevitable confrontation with champion Sugawara may be his only chance for respect by the society that has so completely rejected him.

Vicious, uncompromising and raw, SHAMO is the razor's edge of extreme Asian cinema.

This movie was W I C K E D !!!!!! First off, I wasn't expecting the first 20 minutes to blow my mind away. My poor Shawn gets raped. It was sad, gross, but yet I couldn't turn my eyes away. The violence he had to succumb to while in prison because the inmates learned he "killed" his parents was just so pitifully sad. Again, yet, I couldn't turn my eyes away.

This was in some ways horrific. Not the typical slash horrors you see in everyday big screens but horrific in a human sense to witness. As time goes by, he learns karate from a fellow inmate and yet at the same time his heart hardens and the sweet, innocent boy that was thrown in jail was gone.

All the while, as this time goes by, he is in search for his sister who had to lose everything because of her brother and ended up selling herself to prostitution to survive. And, at the same time, Ryo (Shawn Yu) has to support himself as well and succumbs to the same career path.

I will say that as the movie went on it was hard to support Ryo who was traumatized throughout the movie. His motto...."To never let anyone look down on me again." He was a good kid turned bad boy through out the movie. In just a few handful of scenes, we see the good kid come out....but the bad side always won in the end.

And as a twist, we learn something about the whole beginning of the movie, that makes Ryo's character even more sad. You sort of feel yourself give at the conclusion.

I didn't was a profound ending but crying would have just made the movie's message dissolve into nothing. So I held back....and just sort of smiled.

This is definitely a man/guy movie. Serious kick butt action, non-stop, blood spurting, aggressive, and barely a tender moment. And for us girls....eye-candy in the names of Shawn Yue and Dylan Kuo! Woo-hoo!

And for those of you who wondered why this movie was called Shamo....well, Shamo, means "gamecock". A fighting rooster.

Dylan Kuo

Where has this guy been all my life? LOL! Okay, he got beat up by Shawn's character but damn if he still didn't look......HOT!!!

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