JapaneseRyuhei MatsudaYouRyo Iwamatsu
Boys on the Run
Medium: film
Year: 2010
Writer/director: Daisuke Miura
Original creator: Kengo Hanazawa
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: comedy
Actor: Kazunobu Mineta, Mei Kurokawa, Ryuhei Matsuda, You, Denden, Yuya Endo, Lily Franky, Ryo Iwamatsu, Kaoru Kobayashi, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Yuko Yamamoto, Ryotaro Yonemura, Eiko Otani
Format: 114 minutes
Url: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1590962/
Website category: Japanese
Review date: 21 August 2013
I'm a wimp. I bailed. It looked good, but I curl up and die at embarrassment comedy.
The original Boys on the Run is a 2005-2008 ten-volume Japanese manga series by Kengo Hanazawa. It became this live action film in 2010 and then a TV drama in 2012, so it can't be all bad. (The drama has Eriko "Cutey Honey" Sato in it, while the movie has You, aka. Cute But Talks Like A Duck. How to choose, how to choose?)
The story involves a loser (Kazunobu Mineta). He's a 29 years old virgin who lives with his parents and will look at any visible bra, even if it's his mother's. The most important part of his social life is masturbating to porn videos. His job involves selling things for vending machines and I was waiting for him to get fired even from that. In short, he's excruciating. He's a car crash waiting to happen. This wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to endure scenes of him trying to relate to girls, but unfortunately we do.
(a) A fat girl from a telephone dating club ("telekura") picks him and has sex with him, then takes offence and... okay, yup.
(b) There's a cute girl (Mei Kurokawa) who might be interested in him. They made a promise, which he can't remember because he was drunk at the time, but she reminds him about it. If she lends him some manga, he's got to lend him some of his porn. She dutifully promises to watch it all to the end. This doesn't end well, but "fortunately" our hero finds a handsome, confident co-worker (Ryuhei Matsuda) who's willing to give him some advice on how to get ahead with women, and...
I ran away. Yow ow ow. I was cringing too much. This is a compliment to the film, since they're clearly aiming for this reaction, but I'm afraid I'm not made of sufficiently stern stuff.
The manga eventually has this guy becoming a boxer (eh?) and it sounds quite impressive, although I don't think it's been licensed in English yet. I've heard good things about the art, while the main character is indeed meant to be a depressing shell of a man whose life will crush you inside. It's deliberate. The plot also changes direction (obviously, given the boxing) so it's not as if our hero's going to be a doormat from start to finish.
In short, it did its job too well. I still laughed, mind you. The cute plaster is funny, for instance. If you enjoy this kind of thing and you're not too fussed about not having sympathetic, conventionally likeable protagonists, then give it a go. Don't blame me if it has you hiding behind the sofa, though.