Since The Raid with its utterly bonkers and how did they ever do that without killing each other fight sequences martial arts fans have been looking out for the next thing. ReBorn attempts to fill that gap utilising an unorthodox form of close-quarters combat (referred to by the director and lead actor as “Zero Range Combat”) ReBorn features some of the most stunningly choreographed martial-arts fight sequences in recent years.
(Tak :, formerly Tak Sakaguchi), a former special forces operative, now lives a quiet life in the Japanese countryside. Despite his seemingly peaceful existence, Toshiro struggles to contain the destructive impulses that once made him the top soldier in an elite unit of killers. When his former commanding officer, the enigmatic Phantom (Akio Ôtsuka), comes out of the shadows seeking revenge, Toshiro goes on a kill-crazy rampage against a squad of ruthless assassins.
A sign of what’s to come is made with a brief introduction of what to come by its lead actor and director demonstrating one of the Zero range combat techniques on what appears to be an audience member at a Japanese cinema as they proceed to stand in front and behind him and then simultaneously appear to punch him in the head and he collapsess to the floor. After this no one would refuse to buy popcorn from them before the film began.
The fighting at times is breath-taking and this is a no-frills martial arts film featuring fast, furious and expertly choreographed fight sequences. Problem with this type of thing is that ultimately we’ve seen it all before whereas with The Raid, though the fighting was impressive, what really stood out was some utterly outrageous and flamboyantly filmed stunts where it was difficult to see how it was done without anyone getting seriously injured.
There are some brutally efficient and imaginative sequences especially one where Tak walks across a public square discretely dispatching other villains as he strides towards a man armed with a gun in a briefcase taking pot shots at him.
Tak Sakaguchi is apparantly now so well known that he goes only by the name of Tak (unlike Cheryl Cole whose PR people have now instructed journos that she also goes by first name only presumably because she’s been married or had so many partners that it’s difficult to know what her surname is from week to week – though for us there is only one Cheryl that is Cheryl Baker of pop beat combo Bucks Fizz who at least could hold a tune…….but we digress)
ReBorn is another release from Eureka who are releasing some classic and long forgotten films unfortunately this is not one of their better titles and its thin on extras too with only the beating up an audience member intro, trailer and optional subtitles on the disc. For fans of Tak this is the first time the film has been on dvd / blu ray in the UK but is something of a niche which may not satisfy fans of Tak’s earlier films.
Here’s the trailer…….