Sunny Gets Blue (Japan 1991)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/14/01
Cast: Natsumi Nanase, Mie Yoshida

Yet another case of girls 'n' guns false advertising. The box features several pictures of a pretty girl holding a gun, and boasts a tagline of "Bullets are a girl's best friend." The synopsis also describes Sunny as "a hot headed firebrand with a mean mouth, cold heart, and a devastating trigger finger," but that person is clearly not in this movie. In fact, there is absolutely no girls 'n' guns action in the film whatsoever, so don't let the box fool you. The story is an underworld caper tale about a couple of low rent criminals who are just barely scraping out a living in New York City. One of the local gangs is after Lumberjack, who owes them money. Desperate for cash, Lumberjack knocks off a small grocery store, which sets into motion a treasure hunt to find the shop owner's niece, Sunny (cute Natsumi Nanase), who may be the key to a two million dollar bank heist. So Lumberjack and Cash (great names, eh?) take off to Key West to cash in on Sunny, but when they find her everything goes sour, culminating in a free-for-all gunfight. The abrupt and bewildering ending resolves nothing and just makes you angry.

The film was obviously inspired by John Woo's heroic bloodshed films of the time, but that's not necessarily a good thing in the hands of a lesser filmmaker. The characterizations are weak and unbelievable, and Woo's themes of honor and friendship are handled poorly. The action scenes are decent, but they don't carry the emotional impact, technical proficiency, or artistic beauty of Woo's work, which ultimately makes them seem empty and devoid of any meaning. The film also plays as a cheap travelogue of America's seedy underbelly, and a ridiculous amount of time is spent on choppy montages of downtown street sights. Oddly enough, the film seems like it was intended to be a star vehicle for Natsumi Nanase, but she has very little screen time and has nothing to do except look cute. The film also boasts a very annoying soundtrack and features a very strange English voiceover. One of the more enlightening things that is said while Lumberjack and Cash are driving to Key West is "you should be concerned about global warming because Key West is corrupt and full of gays." Hmmm, how curious...