Hurricane Polymar (Japan 2017)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/6/21
Director: Koichi Sakamoto
Cast: Junpei Mizobata, Yuki Yamada, Mikie Hara, Yurina Yanagi

A cocky and rebellious street fighter named Takeshi Yoroi (Junpei Mizobata) is persuaded to join a special police force that's developing a power suit. The trouble is that someone else is selling the same technology and it's falling into the wrong hands. Takeshi is teamed up with a young and innocent police officer named Joichi (Yuki Yamada), which sets up the tiresome mismatched cop buddy formula. While Joichi's prim and proper attitude can be grating at times, the most interesting thing about his character is that even in the face of death, he can't bring himself to fire his service weapon. Seductive Mikie Hara provides the duplicitous love interest, while super-cute Yurina Yanagi offers up smiles, laughs, and cleavage as Takeshi's girlfriend (?). Her involvement isn't clear, but she ends up stealing the show with her exuberant energy. Throughout the course of the movie, Takeshi fights multiple villains with similar power suits, using his special "hurricane" technique. And even after he's lost everything, Joichi still can't fire his gun.

The film is a reboot/remake of a 1970's anime series that I had never heard of. In the TV show, Takeshi's identity as Hurricane Polymar was secret and he could transform into different shapes, like cars, planes, trains, and boats. In the movie, he's just a guy in a suit who knows how to fight well. The film caught my eye because Koichi Sakomoto directed it and the poster featured a girl with a gun. Not surprisingly, the female action element is almost non-existent, but the handful of female stunt performers are quite good and don't pull their punches. Junpei Mizobata is a good fighter and Sakamoto's stunt team knows their stuff. Unfortunately, while the choreography and execution are good, the action is spoiled by quick edits and sloppy camera work. Low budget CGI effects are also a constant nuisance and distraction. It's also unfortunate that Takeshi's character is obnoxious and completely unlikable, and Mizobata lacks the charisma to give him any sort of endearing qualities. The juvenile humor is awkward and misplaced, and the tone of the film is all over the place. It's a competently made film, but it's overly long and just not very interesting.