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Versus (2000) - Ryűhei Kitamura -


Early offering from Kitamura (first full-length feature film) and tbh it shows as it's a bit of a mess and ultimately little more than a vehicle for a series of fight scenes (a mix of martial arts, guns and swordplay that vary in quality) and a chance to have a little fun with blood and gore within a rather cliched story of a supernatural nature.

The film is not without it's moments though, mainly within the first hour, there being some reasonably well choreographed fights, a few nicely done special effects and touches of humour that work but as a whole it is far too long and more damningly after a while becomes somewhat monotonous. The script really is nothing to write home about and the introduction of some of the characters is not at all well handled (though the pieces do fit together eventually) but in general the film is designed to be over the top and not taken seriously so those are lesser failings in my book. A bigger failing for me is that it never really manages to establish much of a tone and what it does establish is neither really one thing nor another. It also overuses one particular special effect and for me the camerawork/editing is frustrating at times.

That probably makes it sound like I hate it but actually I don't - I just don't care that much for it and very much see it as a missed opportunity (as I think it had potential to be so much better than it is) and part of a learning curve for an inexperienced director ... but I can also understand it's appeal to a certain type of moviegoer even in it's relatively raw state.

Oh yeah and it has zombies .... I'm a bit of a sucker for zombies