Friday, March 27, 2009

CROWS Becomes Live Action Movie

It has been a long time since a review has come up on this page, but I think it's due time, despite the fact that I'm beginning to think that this group is dead. But, since I'm wanting to keep it alive, I'll post for posterity's sake.

Maybe many of you are already familiar with the comic book "Crows" by Hiroshi Takahashi. It's the prequal comic to the one titled "Worst" by the same author, and takes place in the same chaos driven, criminally deliquent school as Worst. And just like Worst, the kids don't just fight to survive, they fight to win.

"Crows" is about a transfer study who comes to Suzuran High School and gets himself involved in a power struggle that occuring. But to top matters off, despite being the new guy, he declares that he's going to become the top of the school for reasons that don't make sense at first.

The movie, however, follows a different plot-line, one much more reminiscent of "Worst" then of CROWS, and follows a different set of characters, but is generally the same story. Released in 2007 (thus being a few years old), it is named "Crows Zero," supposedly being the prequal story even to "Crows" itself.

The question becomes, with all these prequal stories, why wasn't the story just told in chronological order in the first place. I guess that's what happens when you create something and then realize you've completely ruined any chance of sequals.

But the movie follows the character Genji Takaya as he arrives at Suzuran and declares he will be the king of the high school by boldly erasing the name of Tamao Serizawa, who has already made the same claim. The thing is, Serizawa has already got things in motion, which means that Genji has got a lot of work to do.

Armed with a Yakuza friend, named Ken, whose crew he beats down on the first day of school, Genji begins to bring down leaders and gaining an army in the name of surpassing Serizawa and taking Suzuran by force.

However, Serizawa could easily take the school if he didn't have a problem with some of the leaders, like the head of a vicious biker gang, or the guy who just won't give up no matter how much they beat him, and so he watches as Genji takes down his problems one by one. As Genji assends, Serizawa's job just keeps getting easier.

Unfortunately for Serizawa, his best friend has a tumor and is dying, which distracts him from the task at hand, leaving his captains in charge of the gang. But his captains have a different plan in mind; they're not just going to sit around and watch as Genji takes the school. Using some very subtle and very diabolical tactics, they begin to destroy Genji's crew, even taking his girlfriend hostage and threatening her life, all the while covering their own tracks.

Genji's world begins to spiral out of control, but he slowly learns the meaning behind Suzuran High School and the reason why the teachers and the government let it stay the way it is. And as he learns the meaning for Suzuran High, he begins to realize what's important, and being the King doesn't seem to matter anymore...

I give this film an A+ for great writing, amazing action sequences, romancing of the criminal underworld, and being one of the best Comic-to-film Live Action Movies I've ever seen. With completely different characters than the comic, you have to accept it as a completely different film, and when you do so, you will not be dissapointed.

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