Saturday, September 24, 2011

Umizaru 3 : The Last Message

The third installment for the Umizaru series. Though it’s entitled “The Last Message”, it seems that this isn’t going to be the final one. Apparently, in 2012 they’re going to show another one called Brave Hearts starring Riisa Naka. Anything as long as I get to watch Ito Hideaki again in his diver’s suit. Kakkoiii!!!!

Well his kakkoii-ness aside, Umizaru 3 : The Last Message is one really good movie, not to be missed by fans and also anybody who likes a dose of thrilling suspense film because it really takes you on a roller-coaster ride. I can’t remember the previous two movies but this recent one definitely shines throughout the whole 2 hours. Not even 20 minutes into it, the director brings you straight to the place of crisis- The Regalia, a natural gas plant in the middle of the sea, which has been hit by a nearby drilling ship. Fear for any unwanted situations, everyone is evacuated from the site. This brings Daisuke (Ito Hideaki), a Japan Coast Guard diver right to the scene, escorting the architect or rather, designer of the Regalia, Sakuragi to shut down the plant for the time being.


While everyone has been evacuated, the typhoon is raging directly towards the plant and due to an explosion, 5 people are trapped on the giant plant – Daisuke, Sakuragi, Kumeo (fellow worker), Natsu (facility medic) and Hattori (a 2nd year Coast Guard diver). With the typhoon coming causing the sea and wind to be unstable, the helicopters are not allowed to fly anywhere near the plant, hence stopping the rescue attempts until the weather calms down again.

As I’m not going to spoil the plot for those who haven’t watched, let’s move on to the overall plot and characters. The story’s really engaging and I find myself sitting through the whole 2 hrs without even budging from my seat. My eyes are fixed to the screen and I can’t help but be touched by several scenes. The whole scenario looks very realistic and not to mention, the oily substance splashing all over the place and I kinda pity the actors on the plant. They are literally soaked with those black oily stuffs on the clothes and face, and I was like “Eeewwww…”. But that just makes it all the more realistic. So kudos to the make-up artists and such. There are quite a few memorable dramatic scenes, for example the oil spouting scene and the structure falling off all over, it does make my heart race faster watching that. Of course, thanks to the awesome soundtrack to give more effect. 


Acting wise – great, if not amazing on Ito Hideaki’s part. He’s brilliant in there. Well, when is he not? The other co-stars are great too. Though with minimal screentime, Ai Kato does her part very well too as Daisuke’s wife who’s waiting for his safe return at home with their 10 month-old son. Much of the emotional scenes are credited to her, especially the scene where she listens to Daisuke’s recording and it’s such a nice touch to show some flashbacks of their first meetings and such. Brings back the old memories!


All in all, I’m really satisfied with this. I was afraid of the fake CG-ish scenes that some Japanese movies employ especially during those explosion scenes but I’m surprised they didn’t turn out like that for this. The fire and explosions look real, even the fictional Regalia is as real as it appears to be. Non-stop action and suspense, this is a hit! So WATCH IT.   
Overall rating: 9/10


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