Imagine a movie in which Justin Timberlake and, oh I dunno, Justin Guarini
starred as a pair of best friends/hooligans/gangstas/vampires. Imagine all
the vacant stares across the screen as the duo went through the dual motions
of Crime Drama and Gothic Horror, stopping occasionally to preen their hair
or pose boyishly for the cameas.
Take that movie, switch it on over to Japan, and that's what 'Moon Child'
is. Hideto Takarai and Gackt Camui are, as my research tells me, big
swingin' teen idol rock stars over in Japan. And it doesn't take a cynical
movie critic to do the math: genre flick starring two pop sensations =
poorly-acted silliness at best and hilariously inept vanity piece at worst.
Moon Child falls squarely in between those two designations, making it a
movie that's too drab to be truly silly, and too derivative to be
consistently engaging. Borrowing elements from a dozen disparate sources,
'Moon Child' tells the story of two teenage thugs, one who's a low-level
criminal and one who's a centuries-old vampire. And we're not talking about
the sort of colorful vampire who gives us the goopy goods by the boat-load.
No, this is one of those angst-ridden and whiny "Everyone I love...dies!"
sort of vampire chucklehead.
The plot covers several years, as the two pals grow estranged and then
chummy again. Occasionally an over-directed and exceedingly familiar action
sequence pops up, but it's tough to get excited by a gunfight when virtually
all of the characters display superhuman abilities. Humans, vampires, you
name it: a bullet to the chest means nothing to these brawlers.
A lightweight concoction comprised of equal parts John Woo, Martin Scorsese
and Anne Rice inspiration, 'Moon Child' bites off way more than it can
possibly chew and the result is a movie that's intriguing in fits and
starts - but mostly dry and silly throughout.
Still, it might prove a worthwhile curiosity to those who enjoy Asian
horror/action colloids that are more interested in wacky style than in
narrative cohesion. TLA Releasing does a solid job where the film's
presentation is concerned. The anamorphic widescreen transfer is lush and
easy on the eyeballs, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is solid enough.
The movie is presented in Japanese with optional English subtitles, though
it's up to you whether the movie is more or less decipherable with the
subtitles enabled. Extras include a photo gallery and a collection of TLA