Hard Luck Hero (2003)

Genres - Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Action Comedy, Crime Comedy  |   Run Time - 76 min.  |   Countries - Japan   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Japanese pop superstars V6 make their feature-film debut in Sabu's Hard Luck Hero. The project began as an idea for a music video, but was expanded into a feature. Asai (Junichi Okada) is working in a restaurant when his frantic co-worker Ishii (Yoshihiko Inohara) comes to him to ask a big favor. Ishii is involved in fixing a kickboxing match, but his Thai fighter, who is supposed to lose in the second round, is a no-show. Asai reluctantly agrees to fill in. Meanwhile, two young salarymen, Ikeyama (Masayuki Sakamoto) and Kishimoto (Hiroshi Nagano), looking for a new place to eat lunch, have unfortunately settled on the café where the kickboxing match is to take place, and are joined at their table by a yakuza boss and his henchman. Fujita (Go Morita) and Kudo (Ken Miyake) are two punks who need to pay off a debt, and take up a dare to steal the boss' briefcase. Naturally, the kickboxing match does not go off without a hitch. Bullets fly, and soon all six young men are on the run, with yakuza and the cops chasing after them. Sabu cuts back to the action at the match again and again, showing it from each pair's perspective, until the audience has a clear picture of everything that went wrong. Kudo has a potentially fatal gunshot wound, and Fujita is desperate to save him. On the run, Kishimoto begins to regret his decision to give up auto racing, while Asai and Ishii are simply trying to survive. Hard Luck Hero had its U.S. premiere at the 2004 New York Asian International Film Festival.