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I Am a Hero (2015)

TV-MA | | Action, Horror | 23 April 2016 (Japan)
An ordinary man is surprised by a zombie apocalypse.

Director:

Shinsuke Sato

Writers:

Kengo Hanazawa (manga), Akiko Nogi (screenplay)
Reviews
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Yô Ôizumi ... Hideo Suzuki
Kasumi Arimura ... Hiromi
Masami Nagasawa ... Tsugumi Oda
Hisashi Yoshizawa Hisashi Yoshizawa ... Iura
Yoshinori Okada ... Sango
Nana Katase ... Tekko
Jin Katagiri Jin Katagiri ... Korori Nakada
Makita Sports Makita Sports ... Matsuo
Muga Tsukaji Muga Tsukaji ... Mitani
Yu Tokui Yu Tokui ... Abe
Tôru Kazama Tôru Kazama ... Chikura
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Natsu Andô Natsu Andô
Ryôsuke Hagiwara Ryôsuke Hagiwara
Miho Harita Miho Harita
Kazunori Kaneko Kazunori Kaneko
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Storyline

One day, after returning from work late in the evening, Hideo witnesses a traffic accident in which a car crashes into a nearby pedestrian, killing the victim instantly. However, despite severe injuries including a broken neck, the victim's body stands up and walks away. Hideo questions whether this is another one of his hallucinations, but strange events begin happening around him.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Horror

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

23 April 2016 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Soy hèroe See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,770,528
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Outlet Mall scene was filmed entirely at the mall in South Korea that went out of business few years ago. Due to the strict gun law of Japan, the government did not allow producers to use the gun for the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Document - I Am a Hero (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
Music by Daniel E. Kelley and lyrics by Brewster M. Higley
Performed by Allie Goertz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
From Zero to Hero
26 October 2016 | by ctowyiSee all my reviews

For so long we only have English zombies and Chinese zombies, then this year we got our first Korean zombies and now we welcome the first appearance of Japanese zombies. The zombie apocalypse genre is excessively tried and tired. How Japan, having some of the most crowded cities in the world, hasn't gotten into the act is one mystifying mystery. Shinsuke Sato, adapting Kengo Hanazawa's massively popular manga of the same name, understands the source material and totally transpose the addictive page-turning frenzy onto the cinematic medium. This is one crackerjack of a movie and if you have to force me to make decision, I would choose to watch this again over Train to Busan.

Hideo Suzuki (Yô Ôizumi) is a manga artist still twiddling along long after his sell-by date. He lives with his wife who is tired of waiting for Hideo to score his first success at serialising his comic. Every night Hideo draws and stares at his self-made post-it notes of encouragement - "you rock" and "one day a street will be named after you". If that doesn't work, he will take out his shotgun for skeet shooting and pose in front of a full length mirror. He only stops short at muttering the infamous words of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. One night he is thrown out of the house and all hell breaks loose. Together with the quintessential school girl (Kasumi Arimura) in short skirt, they go on to Mt Fuji for safety because they read in one urgent posting on the internet - zombies can't survive in high altitude.

The moment the zombie epidemic starts, I am a Hero careens into one giddy blood- soaked adrenaline rush. The film doesn't push the zombie genre to new directions, but it takes the established tropes and gives it a fresh twist and out comes one sicko and satisfying monster-tainer. I love the opening establishing and main character building scenes - Hideo represents the typical male gazer, your favourite type of loser. His name notwithstanding, you know you will be watching an extreme character arc of a loser becoming a hero. How many times have you seen that in a zombie film? He is a pacifist in a cutthroat world of running zombies. How long can he stay that way in this world? Pretty long, I have to say. When the heroic moment finally arrives, and he steps up to the plate, a big smile was plastered on my face.

How else did the movie remixed the zombie tropes? Imagine zombies moving and gesticulating in Sadako (Ringu) style; zombies retaining one memory from their lifetime or a muscle memory that they repeat and repeat till someone blasts their brains out. I had a good laugh at one zombie muttering he is a taxi-driver who has won many awards for never being involved in any accident and for being the most courteous driver, and of course you know what happens next. The dark humour is just awesome. Some of them skewers the working class system and I couldn't stop myself from laughing at the absurdity of it all. In fact, I think I was the first one who started giggling. Then my wife caught the cue. Before long the audience in my section was laughing away. The dark humour was spot-on perfect and it works because you recognise the plight of the working class.

The visual effects are stellar - blackening veins, clouding eye-balls and gristly cracking noises. They move and contort like crabs and insects, which gave me the creeps. This is zombies J-pop horror style. The mass chaos on the city streets is superbly shot. Imagine people coming from all directions and you are not sure who are the infected until they get nearer. One particular action sequence on a highway is an adrenaline rush.

The middle act slows down a fair bit as Hideo and the girl reach a duty free mall at the foot of Mt Fuji. I am guessing that some of you who are true zombie aficionados would at this point cry "George Romero's Dawn of the Dead" - my respect to you if you did. But watch how the film puts a Lord of the Flies twist to it and this act comes up smelling like roses. I also love how Hideo's gun serves as a metaphor of his evolvement from zero to hero.

The film's narrative may feel familiar and a little long, but it is still one helluva inventive monster ride and Hideo is a wonderfully drawn character that will slowly but surely capture your imagination. The movie shamelessly sets itself up for a sequel but I can tell you I am so looking forward to another gore fest.


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