20-seiki sh˘nen: Honkaku kagaku b˘ken eiga (20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End) (2008)

20-seiki sh˘nen: Honkaku kagaku b˘ken eiga (20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End)

TOMATOMETER

No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: An overlong Japanese sci-fi epic with flashy visuals but a disjointed and frustrating approach to narrative.


Movie Info

A burned-out rocker discovers his doom-struck adolescent fantasies are coming true in this futuristic thriller from Japan. Ever since his career as a musician crashed and burned, Kenji (Toshiaki Karasawa) has been making a living working at a quick-stop store and living with his family. One day, police officers stop by and ask Kenji about a family of regular customers who've gone missing, though Kenji has hardly noticed their absence. When Kenji visits the home of the missing family, he notices … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Naoki Urasawa, Takashi Nagasaki, Yasushi Fukuda, Yusuke Watanabe
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 15, 2009
Runtime:

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Critic Reviews for 20-seiki sh˘nen: Honkaku kagaku b˘ken eiga (20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

The ideas are fun, there are some striking design ideas (the villain's commonplace-yet-freaky mask), yet the clogged storytelling just doesn't make enough of them. Shame.

Full Review… | February 19, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

Tsutsumi...dazzles us with so many balls in the air, so many twists and turns, that there is not enough room left for his characters to develop as believable, interesting people, as opposed to comicbook archetypes.

Full Review… | May 31, 2010
Eye for Film

Not quite science fiction and as surreal a conspiratorial epic as you'll find, this dense thriller has a distinctively Japanese sensibility.

Full Review… | January 10, 2010
Seanax.com

We're being reminded of the banality of evil, but that only slightly raises the IQ of Yukihiko Tsutsumi's film.

Full Review… | February 26, 2009
Sunday Times (UK)

The dramatic premise is ingenious and there are two future lengthy episodes to come. But I was often baffled.

Full Review… | February 26, 2009
Observer [UK]

Audience Reviews for 20-seiki sh˘nen: Honkaku kagaku b˘ken eiga (20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End)

½

This is a pretty good movie. I've been watching a few Asian movies at the moment and fit right in there. Its a quite clever story that I have not heard or seen before and I enjoyed it. If only the acting was more improved and the special effects directing was not at all jaw dropping.

rezpatriot
Alexander Wilson

Super Reviewer

½

Yukihiko Tsutsumi gets the honor of bringing the popular 20th Century Boys manga to life. As you may have guessed, T. Rex's famous song, "20th Century Boy" is an inspiration for this.At 2 hours and 20 minutes, this movie alone is not enough, which is why this live action adaptation is only the first chapter with an ending that indicates a chapter 2. One of the disappointing aspects of this movie is that it takes a while to pick up because a lot of time is spent on the character buildup and the story background. This isn't a bad thing, but the film seems pretty uneventful for more than the first hour. Nonetheless, the buildup is nicely done and important, albeit attention is required.The film spans multiple decades. We are talking from the 1960s up to the year 2014, with the bulk of it taking place in the 90s and 2000. Why am I mentioning this? Well, the film jumps around a bunch, which in the beginning, makes the characters a little difficult to follow and remember. There are a good number of characters by the way. On the positive side, the jumping around in time keeps the story interesting.Eventually the second half of the film focuses on the older versions of the characters as they reunite to fight evil. This is similar to Stephen King's It. The effects are nicely done and the only a few plot holes really hurt the latter segments.Toshiaki Karasawa carries this film without a problem and most of the supporting cast do their jobs, including the beautiful Takako Tokiwa.20th Century Boys takes a while to get going, but it is interesting enough to make those that haven't read the manga want to.

skactopus
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

½

Somewhere between Twelve Monkeys and It, rests this rather brilliant epic, sic-fi, Japanese thing. And it's absolutely Japanese, from the fight choreograhpy to the "end of the world via giant robot" spiel. But it's strength lies in it's writing and the way it slowly reveals itself - much like "Friend", by way of flashbacks to a childhood game that one of them took to the extreme. Recommended for anime/manga fans.

Lemure
Marcus Woolcott

Super Reviewer

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