Written by Jess Wilton
Japan, 2005. 90 min. Fever Dreams/ Media Suits Ltd. Cast: Tak Sakaguchi, YÃ´ko Fujita, Kentaro Seagal, Takamasa Suga, YÃ»ki Takeuchi; Music: Dir en Grey, Rui Ogawa; Cinematography: Shinichi Fujita; Action Director: Go Ohara, Tak Sakaguchi; Written by: Seiji Chiba, Shinichi Fujita, Junya Kato; Directed by: Yuji Shimomura
It seems almost counter-intuitive to try to lend depth to Death Trance. It is, as indicated in its promotional materials, a movie about â€œan unknown time, an unknown place, [a man] without reasons, with no future.â€ Whatever meaning we might glean from its ninety minutes of dizzying camera angles, extravagant choreography, and outrageous costumes, it only detracts from the filmâ€™s ultimate purposeâ€”destruction. Which is not to say that director Yuji Shimomura and his team are after exactly the same sort of destruction as Grave, the filmâ€™s â€˜heroâ€™ (using the word loosely). Grave is after a good fight, and if that means the end of the world, heâ€™s ok with that. Similarly, the filmmakers are largely concerned with making the coolest-looking movie they can. If, as an afterthought, they dismantle a few traditional notions of narrative and identification, wellâ€”theyâ€™re ok with that too.