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One Missed Call (2003)

DVD Cover (Tokyo Shock)
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One Missed Call
> One Missed Call (2003)
> One Missed Call 2 (2005)
> One Missed Call (2005)
> One Missed Call 3: Final (2006)
> One Missed Call (2008)
Director:
Takashi Miike Takashi Miike
Starring:
Ko Shibasaki Ko Shibasaki
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi Shin'ichi Tsutsumi
Kazue Fukiishi Kazue Fukiishi
Anna Nagata Anna Nagata
Atsushi Ida Atsushi Ida

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Supernatural Horror
People mysteriously start receiving voicemail messages from their future selves, in the form of the sound of them reacting to their own violent deaths, along with the exact date and time of their future death, listed on the message log. The plot thickens as the surviving characters pursue the answers to this mystery which could save their lives. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: January 10, 2005
Starting our feature film, we see a group of friends having dinner at a restaurant. The usual chitchatting is done, and then Yumi Nakamura (J-Pop star Kou Shibasaki) and Yoko Okazaki (Anna Nagata) excuse themselves to hit up the bathroom. While in there, Yoko's cell phone rings... however, it's not her ring tone that's playing, but it's coming from her phone. As the two ladies wonder about the oddness behind this, the phone stops ringing, leading to One Missed Call (clever title there). Yoko checks the message that was left by this unknown caller, only to find that the call came from her own cell phone, and from two days in the future at that. The message is pretty simple... Yoko hears herself talking about normal things, and she all of a sudden screams into the phone. End of message. Two days later, at the time of the original call, Yoko is talking to Yumi via the cell phone, Yoko says the exact same things to Yumi that were said in the previous call, and Yoko then "falls" off a bridge into the path of a train. The cops rule it a suicide, but Yumi thinks otherwise when the exact same thing happens to her other friend Kenji Kawai (Atsushi Ida), and then her other friend Natsumi Konishi (Kazue Fukiishi) receives a call as well... can Yumi save Natsumi from her impending death? Why is Hiroshi Yamashita (Shinichi Tsutsumi) trying so hard to help Yumi? What's the reasoning behind the cell phone murders? This, and more, is what the storyline slowly uncovers.

Though this basic storyline has been done to death (most noticeably in Ringu and Ju-On: The Grudge), Takashi Miike has managed to redo it and the end result was decent enough. There's enough originality here to keep things interesting throughout, but in the end, it really comes off as a huge tribute to the two aforementioned movies. I'm not going to spoil things here, but even aside from the obvious cell phone / video tape similarity, there were a lot of major plot twists to be found here that were lifted from previous movies of this nature. Hell, even the ending was eerily similar to that of Ringu. However, as I mentioned above, Miike does bring a good deal of originality to the film as well, which prevents it from ever feeling too much like a blatant ripoff of any other movie. The end result is a great premise for a movie, mixed with some great, original scenes, served with a hearty helping of scenes that you'll recognize from other films. I'm not sure if it was Miike's intention to pay homage to those movies or what, but there's simply too many similarities to consider it a mere coincidence.

On the plus side of things, the movie is quite entertaining if you're a fan of the supernatural revenge movies. The storyline moves along at a brief pace, and with the exception of a few scenes, never slows down enough to hit that dreaded dull status. The scenes where things do start to slow down never last too long, and are few and far between... but when they do hit, you'll be tempted to hit that fast-forward button. Stick with them though, because (as is the norm) those scenes that seem to have no relevance to the overall movie turn around and become vital pieces to the grand scheme of things when the movie starts to wrap up. The choice of putting Japanese pop-star Kou Shibasaki in the lead role was also a good one, as she pulled out a great performance. It seems as though whenever an American pop star gets a role of any type in a movie, it usually winds up with disastrous results... surprisingly, those Japanese pop stars usually do great when they're picked to appear in a movie, and Shibasaki was no exception to the rule.

Overall, this one is worth a viewing if you haven't grown sick of the supernatural revenge films that seem to be becoming much more popular lately, but as I mentioned, don't be shocked when you recognize a few scenes from previous films. The scene rehashing never really hurts the film, but it certainly doesn't help things, especially coming from such a great director as Takashi Miike. 5/10 would be my final rating.
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grain of sand #1: grain of sand - added 01/05/2007, 05:06 AM
the only miike film I've seen and not been happy about, I liked the body bending but nothing else really stuck out here.. I've never enjoyed these long haired girls at all.
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