Alive (2002)

DVD Cover (Tokyo Shock)
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi Action, Science Fiction, Superhero Film
Tenshu is imprisoned and sentenced to death for murdering the men who raped his girlfriend. However, he manages to survive his execution and is presented with an option: face another execution attempt or subject himself to their bizarre and dangerous experiments. --TMDb
Ryhei Kitamura Ryhei Kitamura
Hideo Sakaki Hideo Sakaki
Ry Ry
Koyuki Koyuki
Shun Sugata Shun Sugata
Erika Oda Erika Oda

5.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Christopher
Added: March 11, 2005
Yashiro is walking towards his death as the electric chair awaits him. After surviving the electrocution, he is offered life or death. Living will give him freedom, death will send him through the electric chair again with a much higher voltage. After choosing life, he's stuck in a much large cell with another condemn man, Gondoh. The man watching over the two in a large room above states why each of the men were put in jail. Atshushi Gondoh was convicted of assault, drug dealing, blackmail, arson and more than twenty other misdemeanors. Tenshu Yashiro was convicted of attacking the six men involved in the rape of his girlfriend. They are told that they are conducting an experiment on the two, nothing more.

After days go by, the cell begins to get hotter and the men start getting fed less. It seems as if the experiment is revolving around the death of one of the men. That is, until a woman trapped in a room appears. She calls herself a witch and wants Gondoh to kill Yashiro so that he can get to her. Gondoh tries, but fails. He is eventually let in the room by the man watching him above. Gondoh begins seeing things, which eventually cause his brain to overload, basically killing himself. It was at that time when two men from the military break into the room and take over the experiment. It is then explained why the men are really in there.

There's a virus called the Isomer that has infected the sister of one of the scientists that is conducting the experiment on the two men. It travels through different people when their want to kill is larger than the current host. The plan is for Yashiro to pick up so much hatred from Gondoh for trying to kill him, and then from the witch, Yurika, that pesters him about killing his girlfriend and mistreating her. The plan does work, but when the military decides to take over the project after the transfer is complete, Yashiro doesn't go without a fight. After having the Isomer transfer into, he quickly takes control of its powers and takes care of the entire group that was sent after him. But now he's left to fight against another Isomer that was cloned from human DNA.

Based on the comic book by Tsutomu Takahashi, Ryuhei Kitamura brings it to the screen for a very visually dark film. The original comic had a very nice story backing it, so the movie didn't fail at all in that department. Superb acting on everyone's part. The only thing bad that was included in the script was the highly annoying laughter that came from Gondoh at a constant rate. Other than that, it was well written. All of the main characters had stories backing their lives and exactly why they were there. All of the victims that were killed by the two criminals all had reasons for their death. Very little was left unexplained.

Not much action took place until nearing the end of the film, which ended up being plenty for the entire film. Especially the final battle between the cloned Isomer and Yashiro. Very nice computer generated effects were shown through each action scene. Even though some of them seemed over done, they matched the comic so it was actually called for. Of course with the action came violence. The violence had its fair share of blood, but a lot of the fighting was more hand to hand combat rather than weapons or limb tearing. Even though all of the men from the military group only had weapons to defend themselves, they didn't connect with to many shots.

All of the sets were built on a high technology looking level, which added a very visually interesting touch. Nothing looked too over done, nor did anything have that look of incompleteness to it. All of the characters were plainly dressed, which let the viewer focus more on the scenery than the actual person when they were standing there explaining something or just doing nothing. Any fan of Versus would be familiar with the name Ryuhei Kitamura, as he directed both films. The fans of Versus would not be disappointed with this film. Most of the folks who enjoyed the Cube films may also want to look into this, as they both have a lot of similarities.

Final Conclusion: 10/10
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