CURE (KYUA) Add To My Top 10

Prognosis: Hypnosis

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 07, 2001

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Masato Hagiwara, Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Anna Nakagawa, & Yoriko Douguchi

Genre: Detective/Thriller

Audience: Older teenagers & adults

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 111 minutes

Address Comments To:

John Vanco & Noah Cowen
Co-Presidents
Cowboy Pictures
Cowboy Booking International
6 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (212) 929-4200
Fax: (212) 929-9786
Email: info@cowboybi.com
Website: www.cowboybi.com

Content:

(PaPa, OOO, B, L, VVV, NN, A, D, M) Pagan worldview with retribution themes & strong occult elements of hypnotism & some moral elements of man dedicated to caring for his mentally ill wife; six mostly mild obscenities; strong violence including man beats woman on head with pipe, two shootings, man hurls himself out of two story window in suicide attempt, assault, vandalism, & many implied murders with images of bloody corpses, monkey corpse & bloody crime scenes including gruesome image of hung woman; no sex; brief image of upper female nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, talk of prostitution & disturbing scenes of dementia.


Summary:

CURE is a taciturn Japanese crime/detective story with a supernatural bent where a detective must stop a man with hypnotic occult powers, before he himself falls under the man’s spell. Bloody, droll, with a few obscenities, this movie’s hero has a moral moment but ultimately resolves the problem with a bloodbath.


Review:

Originally called KYUA and released in 1997 in Japan, CURE is a taciturn crime/detective story with a supernatural bent, now becoming more common in American movies of the same genre. A wave of gruesome murders is sweeping Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody "X" carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe (Koji Yakusho) and his psychiatrist friend Sakuma (Tsuyoshi Ujiki) are called in to figure out the connection but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd, young man is arrested near the scene of the latest murder. He seemingly doesn't know who he is or where he is. A label in his jacket, reading Mamiya (Masato Hagiwara), is his only identification.
The detectives and the audience suddenly discover that Mamiya has a strange effect on everyone who comes into contact with him. Mamiya asks his interrogators “Tell me about you,” and if they comply, they end up killing someone, usually a person they are close to or a person with whom they seek retribution. Ultimately, Detective Takabe must stop Mamiya, who is discovered to have hypnotic powers, before he himself falls under Mamiya's spells.
If this movie were made in America with the same script, it would likely be a run-of-the-mill thriller that would come and go from the theaters. The director shocks the audience with a few bloody corpses, murders and crime scenes, and doesn't punch up the suspense or backstory. The revelation that Mamiya has hypnotic occult powers does not bring revelation or surprise to the audience. In better films, that would be a starting point and the movie would explore the killer's backstory. This movie only scratches the surface in explanation.
If Americans want their thrills more thrilling, they would probably be more satisfied with something home-grown. The pacing, direction, editing, and final resolution are about as droll as they come. Only some photography brings any appeal. Spiritually, this movie is the same. It pushes no strong agenda, save for the godless quest to stop crime found in many modern detective stories. Hypnotism is called soul-conjuring and, apparently, Mamiya does it effectively, but its roots are not explored much. Takabe does take care of his infirm wife, and perhaps his moral goodness and keen mind help him stay away from Mamiya's charms, but ultimately a bloodbath resolves this conflict. This movie cures nothing. For pure entertainment, try the pleasant Japanese movie SHALL WE DANCE? instead.


In Brief:

CURE is a bloody, taciturn crime/detective story from Japan with a supernatural bent. Gruesome murders sweep Tokyo. The only connection is a bloody "X" carved into the neck of each of the victims. In each case, the murderer is found near the victim and remembers nothing of the crime. Detective Takabe and his psychiatrist friend Sakuma are called in to figure out the connection, but their investigation goes nowhere. An odd, young man named Mamiya is arrested near the scene of the latest murder. Ultimately, Detective Takabe must stop Mamiya, who is discovered to have hypnotic occult powers, before he himself falls under Mamiya's spells.
In America, this movie would likely be a run-of-the-mill thriller that would come and go from the theaters. The director shocks the audience with a few bloody corpses, murders and crime scenes, and doesn't punch up the suspense or backstory. The pacing, direction, editing, and final resolution are about as droll as they come. Only some photography brings any appeal. Spiritually, it pushes no strong agenda, save for the godless quest to stop crime that is found in many modern detective stories. Ultimately, a bloodbath resolves the conflict.