Tak Sakaguchi caused a bit of a stir when he burst onto the scene in Ryuhei Kitamura’s absolutely stunning film Versus in 2000. He went on to have successes with Azumi, Azumi 2 and Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, amongst others. The action director on Shinobi was Yûji Shimomura, who had worked as a stuntman/stunt coordinator on Princess Blade, Returner and Moon Child. For his directorial debut Death Trance, Shimomura chose Tak to star. In his second film, Re:Born, the pair re-unite to create a blistering action film.
Toshiro (Sakaguchi) lives a quiet life with his adopted daughter Sachi (Yura Kondo) and runs a convenience store in the countryside. They regularly visit his friend Kenichi (Takumi Saitoh), who is wheelchair-bound. However, in a previous life Toshiro was a legendary special forces operative with the codename ‘Ghost’. He parted on bad terms with their leader Phantom (Akio Ôtsuka), who has been searching for him ever since. When he’s finally located, Toshiro must use all his skills and resourcefulness to battle for his life.
Tak and Sakaguchi worked together to create a new fighting style. This exhilarating close-quarters combat, dubbed ‘Zero Range Fighting’ by the duo, is what makes Re:Born stand-out as an actioner. Along with some deft quick-cut editing, the fight scenes can only be called epic. Particularly an electrifying scene in the woods which seems to go on forever. Re:Born is a top draw action film full of creativity, zest and carnage.
Re:Born is released on Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) by Eureka Entertainment on 12 March.