Double Deception

on October 18, 2002 by Kim Williamson
   An apparent fan of point-and-shoot filmmaking, Japanese director Shundo Ohkawa ("The Yakuza Way," "Nobody") finds little of cinematic or human interest in this potboiler about a bodyguard (Louis Mandylor) hired to protect a young woman (Maya Hoshino) who herself has been hired to act as a lookalike decoy for the daughter (Rei Kikukawa) of a rich man (Nakata San), who fears her being kidnapped for ransom. When the lookalike is kidnapped and the rich man is willing to dispense with her life, the bodyguard leaps into action.

   Such as it is.

   Mandylor ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") provides the hunkish but soulful quality requisite of the genre's lead; as the no-surprise eventual love interest, Kikukawa is pretty but unpersuasive, her English as a triptoe-through-her-two-lips adventure proving a major distraction. If their characters' emotions were tape Xs, then the interesting supporting cast could be said to hit their marks.    Starring Louis Mandylor, Rei Kikukawa, James Russo and Udo Kier. Directed by Shundo Ohkawa. Written by Chris Chan Lee and Shundo Ohkawa. Produced by Taka Arai. A Pathfinder release. Drama. Unrated. Running time: 87 min.

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