Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    90
    I hurt myself laughing at this amazingly inventive mockumentary, and because it's so good, I refuse to give away much more than an insistent recommendation.
  2. Reviewed by: Russell Edwards
    90
    Decidedly odd, even by Japanese standards, this mockumentary about an electrically charged, skyscraper-high superhero saddled with misfortune, bad press and even worse TV ratings is tears-down-the-face funny and a genuine, jaw-dropping oddity.
  3. 88
    Very funny in an insidious way.
  4. 80
    The most impressive special effect here is Mr. Matsumoto's hilariously restrained performance, a tour de force of comedic concision in a movie bloated by increasingly surreal developments.
  5. 80
    Hysterically funny CGI fight sequences, which pit the chubby superhero against a series of creatures so bizarre they'd keep Hieronymus Bosch awake at night.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    70
    Awfully funny, with surprisingly potent social commentary just underneath the quirkiness.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    70
    The film has slow sections that test the viewer's patience. But it also touches on themes of family, heroism and nationalism, and the finale, which has plenty of surprises and rewarding references for fans of the genre, is worth the wait.
  8. The effects are reasonably well-created, though hardly transparent. The last 15 minutes of the film spins out into unimaginable realms. Fans of this kind of stuff will leave smitten; those accompanying them to the theatre will have a pretty good time too.
  9. 50
    At nearly two hours, Big Man Japan is clever (in a sick sort of way) but overlong. It needs judicious editing -- more mockumentary, fewer superhero antics.
  10. When a movie is this strange, it's gotta count for something.
  11. 40
    Matsumoto isn't the first Japanese director to go all meta on the superhero tradition (consider also Takashi Miike's 2004 "Zebraman"), but this work of improbable lunacy may well max out the genre.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    40
    Between such shots of inspiration, Matsumoto’s mock-doc framework seems a lazy stock device, interviews playing more dead than deadpan and failing to exceed an over-familiar comic-pathetic attitude toward the lives of functionaries.
  13. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    25
    But the film written, directed and starring stand-up comic Hitoshi Matsumoto has, like most superheroes, a tragic flaw: It isn't funny.

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