LIMIT OF LOVE - UMIZARU 2 (2006-JAPAN)
review by Neo


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The underlying limits of being cliché…
Japanese cinema goes big budget again, but like its Hollywood counterpart, it is filled with clichés and ultimate predictably making it the flick more like a “wanna-be” Titanic than a true blockbuster. As a matter of fact, Neo have not watched its Prequel – Umizaru and therefore may not have felt the emotions that should have been much more appealing and touching. Still, the movie does not justify its Japanese box office taking of being the 2nd largest opening, as it renders through clichés after clichés and perhaps it ends up, all too familiar and predictable. It hard to elevates a film where the actors try harder than the director or the screenwriting team, and unfortunately the end result feels far more like Hollywood than Japanese cinema. It is all the more regrettable that Neo began to tune off and shaking his head by the time the film reaches it so called dramatic climax. It is a disappointing ending and ultimate a disappointing movie that ends up lacking in emotions, appeals, tension and satisfaction.

The movie goes like this: Two years into his career as a Japan Coast Guard frogman, Daisuke Senzaki (Hideaki Ito) has matured into a seasoned diver destined to be among the corp's elite. But he is haunted by past failure and the emotional strain that accompanies a job of saving lives has cast doubts in Daisuke's mind that threaten top destroy his relationship with Kanna.

Perhaps it is impossible to objectively review this sequel when it has so much preceding leading up to this finale episode. It is a sequel and follows up to now just the highly successful Umizaru, but also the TV series that came soon after. It should also be mentioned that the people behind this flick is also behind the mastermind of the highly intelligent and fun series of Bayside Shakedown, which only adds to the further disappointment. Sure, this film may have received some international success, but in turn director Eiichiro Hasumi have restored to clichés in order to achieve that. With that being said, Hideaki Ito handles his role as a hero of the film with certain flair, and while his acting is questionably mixed, he is ultimately likable enough for the audience to endure through his unbelievable antics and perseverance. His chemistry with the average looking Ai Kato is fitting, but that may be due to this certain reviewer of not having seen the prequel.

All in all, there is really little worth recommending about this sequel, apart from it being a Japanese blockbuster based on a highly successful comic book. Limit of Love – Umizaru 2 is a film filled with clichés and apart from some life and death situations, the film rarely takes off or excites the audience. A true blockbuster should be both entertaining and fun, but Umizaru is neither that or emotional. The result is a feeling of lacking in nearly every department. Points should be given for the manner and outlook of the sinking ship and the theme of how much one are willing to sacrifice for saving others is worth nothing. Still, Umizaru 2 fails as a stand alone film and is ultimately a questionable sequel, but at the very least Japanese is making big budget movies again…

I rate it 5/10

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Directed by: Eiichiro Hasumi
Starring: Hideaki Ito, Ai Kato, Ryuta Sato
Genre: Love and Sinking Ship

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