I remember talking about Train to Busan here a few months ago and guess what? I think I found a better zombie movie. Please don’t kill me. I still love and still recommend Train to Busan to ANYONE. It has all the elements I love in a Korean drama: the characters we love to love and love to hate, the conflict, the buildup, the attack- the constant attacks, and the massive attack of emotions.
But if I were to talk about a protagonist we can all relate to and the garishness and blood soaked giddiness deserving of a zombie film, I have to hand it to Japan’s I Am a Hero. I just found out that this was a live action of a manga-I’ve-yet-to-read and I was quite skeptical. I, honestly, haven’t read any of Hanazawa Kengo’s works so I didn’t know what to expect. When I started the first 18 minutes of the film, I was literally holding on to my bladder. Here’s what I saw at literally 18:00.
Talk about freaky and creepy right? This one gave a real nightmare after this movie.
Little did I know that this was just the tip of my nightmares. The zombies here are similar to the zombies in Train to Busan: THEY ARE FAST! WHEN DID THEY GET TO BE THAT FAST? I grew up watching The Night of the Living Dead and bingeing The Walking Dead and I know FOR A FACT that walkers/zombies are slow. That’s why you can stab and slice walking past them. (I still don’t understand those who can’t outrun them.) In I Am a Hero, they’re not just fast. They’re strong, a little smarter (We’ve been fed lies for years), and THEY CAN TALK. Thank you so much Japan for this tiny bit of nightmarish information. Because of this added zombie skill, the characters needed to amped up their amateurish zombie-killing flair. And here we get to talk about the unlikely hero of the story. His name is Suzuki Hideo.
As you can see, he’s a pretty unassuming guy. According to the movie, his name spelled in Japanese is similar to the word “Hero” but according to Hideo, it was only a name not the person. He’s about to prove that wrong. I’m not going to spill some spoilers here so I’m just going to say that although Hideo has a bit of a wacko side (like we all are), he’s a relatable character. He’s a little introvert with a side of cowardice and a whole sack of bad luck on his side. Now if you can’t relate to at least one of the three, you’re not human. You’re probably a zombie.
It was a delight to see our protagonist change from the timid manga assistant to this ass-kicking and gun slinging hero.
Although it’s full of glorious goriness of blood, guts, and brains, (evidence number 1:
Sorry. This is not for the squeamish.) This film is definitely more than the infectious bite of a zombie apocalypse. I only had to nod after the movie and say “This is definitely how you make a live-action.” It was SO GOOD. I’m not sure if I want to watch for the rush again or not to watch and save my stomach. I read somewhere that this is Japan’s first venture into the zombie trend so I have to give them the big hand. It is so cool to see Asian films in the horror genre that’s more than ghosts and folklores and to realize that, sometimes if not most times, they’re better *cough* than their Western counterpart. I still watch Western horror films so I do not hate on them. Go horror! If you’re looking for some adrenaline rush with Japanese panache, I Am a Hero is your movie.