LFF: Key of Life (Kagi-Dorobou No Method)
Anyone who recalls Kenji Uchida’s last movie After School as the smartest and most entertaining Japanese film of 2008 will be palpitating at the news that he’s finally made another film. Key of Life is essentially a riff on Trading Places, but it takes the notion that we all play roles every day much further than John Landis ever dreamed. A failed actor, unlucky in love, steals the identity of an accident victim – and finds himself prey to the attentions of The Mob; he discovers that he’s now a famously ruthless fixer for the underworld. Meanwhile the actual fixer wakes in hospital with amnesia – and has to learn to live anew as a failed actor. Perhaps fortunately, a needy woman executive (she has set herself a two-month deadline to get married) is on hand to help him and/or get in his way. Much of this is deliciously funny, not to mention brilliantly timed and acted with relish by the all-star cast. (Tony Ryans)
Dir. Kenji Uchida, Japan 2012, 128min. Cast: Masato Sakai, Teruyuki Kagawa, Ryoko Hirosue.
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