Now this is more like it. I’m going to put the obvious and non-spoiler-y description here. Shinihiro Ueda is the same director of One Cut of the Dead which was one of most hilarious and meta zombie comedies back in Fantasia 2018. Now he’s back with another film feature and more surprises. That being said, that’s almost the entire review. You want to go in as uninformed as possible. Still, there’s a few things you might want to know.
Special Actors was written and directed by Shinihiro Ueda. And yes, he’s going against himself. His previous film now means he has to top that twist reveal and I’m hoping he’s going to become M. Night Shyamalan and get stuck. For the record, Shyamalan has a few other good movies under his belt now, but I just don’t want to see him get stuck creating twists. That being said, you’re in for a ride with this one.
Shy and introverted Kazuto (Osawa Kazuto) faints when he’s stressed or confronted. That’s a problem because what he wants is to be an actor and can’t sustain any job. His brother Hiroki (Kono Hiroki) tries to help him by taking him to an agency that specializes in setting up fake situations in real life to help people with their problems. That’s as far as we need to go here.
The biggest challenge the movie faces is its director’s previous production. That means it’s going to have to go to great lengths to fool us into thinking that we’ve figured it out just to surprise us with a twist within a twist. This is hardly easy and it’s commendable that the film does manage to succeed. Unfortunately, I did find the runtime seems a bit lengthy and overstays its welcome just a tad. I think this doesn’t ruin the film and the finale is worth it, but some scenes could have been shortened for a more solid feature.
Strongly recommended with light reservations. New audiences will not expect the twist, while others will be waiting for one without noticing how they’re been set up to miss a bigger one. Does work, but I would have loved it even more had it managed to compact its runtime with some tighter storytelling. If you’re willing to stick to the end, the payback is worth it.
That will do for now.