Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (15)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (6)
"Ramen: Whispered in anticipation or delight, it's enough to stir the emotions" is how the film's voice-over narration begins. It gets more effusive from there.
Ramen is just noodles and broth, right? Well, no, it's actually much more, as we learn in the entertaining Japanese documentary "Ramen Heads."
Although "Ramen Heads" is an interesting glance at the craft of ramen, it ends up feeling lukewarm.
"Ramen Heads" may be a tad lacking in visual excitement, but it succeeds in imparting the ineffable appeal of Japan's national dish.
A brisk if uneven celebration of the soup-and-noodle staple that will nevertheless have you scheduling a post-viewing trip to your closest bowlful.
Over-narrated and self-serious, this documentary allows its good intentions to pave the way to a tepid tale.
If Tomita Ramen is Mount Olympus, then the structurally scattershot and aesthetically clunky Ramen Heads is rooted more in the weeds.
I assume it was Shigeno's intent to share his love for ramen with the world, but the final product projects more like a propaganda piece.
It combines the ramen obsession of Tampopo with Jiro Dreams of Sushi's strategy of celebrating a Japanese master chef who lives and dies for his restaurant.
Koki Shigeno's Ramen Heads explores this subculture of Japanese ramen freaks and what drives the lunatic artisans who've devoted their lives to creating the perfect bowl of noodles.
However, as a character and a vessel for storytelling, Tomita doesn't really hold much interest. He's an exacting chef and a taskmaster who runs an extremely successful restaurant. That's about it.
The story of the ramen empire is one of constant rise with no fall in sight. In Ramen Heads, it's told through the seemingly narrow lens of one proponent of that dish that is so much more than a noodle soup.
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