Big Man Japan

Big Man Japan Image
Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: A middle-aged slacker living in a rundown, graffiti-ridden slum, Daisato’s job involves being shocked by bolts of electricity that transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high who is entrusted with defending Japan from a host of bizarre monsters. But while hisA middle-aged slacker living in a rundown, graffiti-ridden slum, Daisato’s job involves being shocked by bolts of electricity that transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high who is entrusted with defending Japan from a host of bizarre monsters. But while his predecessors were national heroes, he is a pariah among the citizens he protects, who bitterly complain about the noise and destruction of property he causes. And Daisato has his own problems –an agent insistent on branding him with sponsor advertisements, an Alzheimer-afflicted grandfather who transforms into a giant in dirty underwear, and a family who is embarrassed by his often cowardly exploits. A wickedly deadpan spin on the giant Japanese superhero, BIG MAN JAPAN is an outrageous portrait of a pathetic but truly unique hero. (Magnolia Pictures) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 88
    Very funny in an insidious way.
  4. 70
    Awfully funny, with surprisingly potent social commentary just underneath the quirkiness.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. But the film written, directed and starring stand-up comic Hitoshi Matsumoto has, like most superheroes, a tragic flaw: It isn't funny.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 2 out of 8
  1. BillyJoeBob
    Sep 7, 2009
    10
    It really is that funny and sad and bizarre favorite of the year.
  2. jonC
    Sep 3, 2009
    10
    Very trippy indeed. watch it when you're high.
  3. Matt
    Aug 16, 2009
    8
    Entertaining, but not recommended unless you've watched a LOT of Asian cinema. It is strange and dreamlike, and reminded me of Tanpopo Entertaining, but not recommended unless you've watched a LOT of Asian cinema. It is strange and dreamlike, and reminded me of Tanpopo with it's disjointedness. If you like Japanese monster films and appreciate the (really) absurd, this may be for you. Otherwise, probably not. Expand
  4. JayH
    Jul 22, 2009
    6
    Such an unusual and bizarre film, it's hard not to like it. The special effects are very imaginative and well done. Well photographed Such an unusual and bizarre film, it's hard not to like it. The special effects are very imaginative and well done. Well photographed and always fascinating. Expand
  5. Jul 17, 2014
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Big Man Japan (Dai-Nipponjin): 4 out of 10: I had such high hopes for this one; really high hopes. I love monster movies and while the idea that a man turns into a giant to protect Tokyo from the various monsters that attack. This idea, which is kind of Jet Jaguar (Godzilla vs. Megalon) crossed with Apache Chief (Super Friends), seems like perfect Anime material.

    Big Man Japan is a live action mockumentary however. Yes feel free to groan now. Look I loved this is Spinal Tap as much as the next bloke, but the reason Spinal Tap worked was not because it was a fake documentary but because Stonehenge statue was 6 inches tall and in danger of being crushed by dancing dwarfs.

    If you fake a documentary and don't write jokes and funny bits it simply is a boring documentary that isn't true. This whole 'the character and situations provide an inside laugh' does not work. You got to write some bloody jokes.

    Eighty percent of Big Man Japan consists of our hero,who is a dead wringer for Neil (the hippie) from The Young Ones, sitting. Sometimes he sits and rambles on about how bad his life is and sometimes, as God as my witness, he just sits. In what possible universe is this entertainment? The monster stuff tries too hard as well. Okay that is not completely accurate, since the city design is so lacking in detail and believability one must assume it looks that fake on purpose. It is the monsters themselves however that seem to strain to get a laugh. (Ooh a giant hairy scrotum with an extended eyeball.) But at least the monster bits were trying to be funny and in their own way were well done, which is more than can be said for the rest of the film.
    Expand
  6. DeaneG.
    Aug 18, 2009
    1
    Very slow, and an ending that came out of nowhere and finished there as well.
  7. MichaelR
    Aug 6, 2009
    0
    Easily the worst movie I've ever seen. I don't understand why the critics love it so...this movie didn't even do well in Easily the worst movie I've ever seen. I don't understand why the critics love it so...this movie didn't even do well in Japan. Very local Osaka humor. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews

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