More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 1 rating

Latest Reviews

15 Minutes of War (L'Intervention) by Jay Seaver

Bacurau by Jay Seaver

Whistlers, The by Jay Seaver

Fly Me to the Saitama by Jay Seaver

Fantastic Fungi by Jay Seaver

Ode to Nothing by Jay Seaver

Dance with Me by Jay Seaver

Purity of Vengeance (Journal 64), The by Jay Seaver

Cencoroll Connect by Jay Seaver

8 by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

Brass Knuckle Boys
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Jay Seaver

"Most punk rockers just have one or two big moments."
3 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2010 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: "Brass Knuckle Boys" has two hugely funny scenes, including a flashback that is among the best rock 'n roll movie jokes I can remember. They're both in the beginning, though, and there's still the better part of two hours to go after the bit with the guitar-smashing. And while the movie still has plenty of amusing bits, that's a long time to go on after hitting the high point.

We start off with Kanna Kurita (Aoi Miyazaki), a perky young talent searcher for a record company who is really just absolutely no good at her job. She's got a positive attitude, though, so when she brings her latest YouTube find in to her boss Tokita (Yusuke Satamaria), she's all smiles and no hard feelings as she prepares for her inevitable firing, especially since what she's found is a punk band and they work for a pop label. The good news, though, is that Tokita used to be a punk rocker himself, back in the day, and these "Brass Knuckle Boys" ("Shonen Meriken Sakku", or SMS for short) remind him of the rock of his youth, and he dispatches Kanna to sign them. The bad news is that SMS is the rock of his youth - bass player Akio (Koichi Sato) is now a bartender in his mid-forties, and hasn't spoken to the guitar player, his brother Haruo (Yuichi Kimura), since the band broke up twenty-five years ago; Akio just posted some of their old videos for fun. But both drummer Young (Hiroki Miyake) and disabled, incomprehensible singer Jimmy (Tomorowo Taguchi) are up for a reunion tour, and after a few miscommunications and deceptions, that's what they've got, with Kanna stuck riding herd on them.

There are large parts of this premise that are comedy gold, and when writer/director Kankuro Kudo is satirizing musicians the music industry, the movie is fairly clever. I love the banter between Kanna and Tokita that opens the film, and the aforementioned flashback with the smashing guitars is just about the funniest thing I've seen in a long time; it's got a killer moment when the audience laughs because it knows that Kudo is about to do something horrible. Moments like Haruo wandering on stage, casting a disdainful look at the label's most popular act (a bland boy band that sings about playing video games) are pregnant with the possibility of the movie really letting people have it in fine style.

That potential is often squandered, though, on what are often not particularly funny jokes and generic storylines. Much of the road trip is given over to fart jokes, and a scene that involves Kanna getting covered with animal crap is even less amusing than it sounds. Things which start out funny get repeated until they're not - for instance, watching SMS get on stage and stink once is amusing, but somewehre around the second or third time it starts becoming sad. What's more frustrating is that the storylines are paint-by-numbers, repetitive, and often times nonsensical. Kanna's boyfriend Masaru (Ryo Katsuji) being kind of a leach and not a very good musician just takes up time, and the backstory to Akio's and Haruo's rift isn't nearly as clever or amusing as it should be (even when riffing on late 70s/early 80s teen idols). Toward the end, characters just start doing things for arbitrary reasons.

There's really no excuse for that, because Kudo has a great cast. Aoi Miyazaki, for instance, is effortlessly charming as Kanna, whether the moment calls for her to be a bit of a stick in the mud, the one sane member of the crew, or kind of daffy. It's a pity she isn't given more time with Yusuke Santamaria, because they are good enough together for their banter to snap even for those of us who need subtitles to know what they're saying. Koichi Sato is roguishly charming as Akio, although Yuichi Kimura is more straight man than partner. Tomorowo Taguchi is given a big, ridiculous role to play and he milks it for all its worth, mining maximum comedy from the old rock star whose youth left him an inarticulate physical wreck (of course, do you really need to understand what a punk rocker is singing?).

What "Brass Knuckle Boys" does well is, I think, enough to compensate for what it is just okay at (and if Kudo had found fifteen minutes or so that he was willing to cut, there would be no question). It's an average movie when looked at from start to finish, but with a handful of moments that make it worth seeing at least once.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 09/16/10 08:31:20
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2010 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2010 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/10/19 yu yu story bad. ot represent japan's underground punk scene at all. Too much Sex Pistol influenc 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum




Directed by
  Kankuro Kudo

Written by
  Kankuro Kudo

  Aoi Miyazaki
  Koichi Sato
  Yuichi Kimura
  Tomorowo Taguchi
  Hiroki Miyake

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast