Zero Stars. What a terrible movie. Note: It was well-acted by Alexandria Daddario (she’s very talented) but it was a terrible script that could not be overcome. There wasn’t a point in time throughout the entire movie where I gave a shit what happened. The Japanese guy, Kazu, was not an awful actor; in fact, he was fine. I thought about giving it one star because the two of them (the main characters) are talented. But I don’t want to mislead anybody into thinking this mess is watchable; it gets zero stars. There are other ways to see Alexandria Daddario naked (True Detective, for example) if that is your thing.
Woke rating: Three out of ten. Surprisingly, there was no homosexual stuff and it wasn’t unbearably woke in any way. I’m giving it two woke points for the constant, non-sensical inter-racial sex (it seemed like a Japanese man was inside Daddario’s vagina for about half the movie) and one woke point for what I interpreted as the implication that a woman can get run through by half the population of Japan and then somehow be “re-born.” That’s got to be some sort of a feminist trope since we all know it doesn’t work that way. LOL!
What happens (full plot summary, with ‘spoilers’):
The film opens with Alexandria Daddario’s character walking through a tunnel. I can’t remember the character’s name so I just refer to her as Daddario for the purposes of this review. She pulls out a cigarette. A grimy, old Japanese man walking behind her holds a lighter, hilariously and dramatically, for something like ten seconds and lights her cigarette. She tells him, “Take me to a love hotel.”
The movie cuts to the next morning (without showing what transpired between the two of them). Daddario is obviously tired. She struggles through a session teaching English pronunciation in a Japanese flight attendant school. After work, she goes and gets drunk with two white friends at a Japanese dive bar. After she uses the bathroom, she passes a random Japanese man in the hallway. She stops the man, kisses him and then lets him fuck her in the bathroom. After the encounter she goes back to her friends, drunk and disheveled and asking if they are “talking about her.”
The movie cuts to the next scene where she friend-zones her beta white friend (“Liam”) who makes an awkward pass at her. She says, “You are like a brother to me” as she swerves.
Right away, she is shown in another “love hotel”, this time with a beta Japanese male (the guy who fucked her in the bathroom was presented as an alpha). They are making out but he stops before he fucks her and says “I want to know your mind.” Daddario looks very angsty. She lights a cigarette and says “No, you don’t.”
At this point, the movie seems to be pushing that she is a nymphomaniac, as opposed to a prostitute, since there have been three sexual encounters yet no money exchanged on screen.
Her boss at the school notices how tired and ragged-out she looks and sends her home with a talking to.
Instead of going home, she goes to a Japanese bookstore where she looks at a cartoon pornographic book, I’m not sure of the term but I don’t think that style was anime. A man, one who had stared at her in the street in a short clip earlier in the movie, follows her and asks her if she likes the book (the page is open to some Octopus/tentacle pornography). She says it “looks fun.” They leave the bookstore and go to the man’s house, where the heavily-tattooed, somewhat older Japanese man fucks her. Before he does so, she indicates that he should restrain her wrists, which he does.
Back at the bar, she tells her friends about the latest encounter, we learn that the man’s name is Kazu, and says that she likes this latest man (he’s “beautiful,” she says). Her friends brush the conversation off because they know she fucks everybody.
She goes back to work the next day and the man is waiting to pick her up after. They go to sushi, first to one place where they leave because she has ratty socks with holes in them and they were requiring her to take her shoes off. Next to a place where she can leave her shoes on and they sit in the crowded sushi bar.
Her paramour kicks a rowdy party out of the restaurant while she is in the bathroom. It is not completely clear, but we are learning that he is some sort of a badass or gangster or what-not (tattoos and patrolling the restaurant for rowdiness). After the meal, Kazu takes Daddario home and fucks her again. Thirty-one minutes into the movie, she has been fucked four times by three Japanese men, assuming she did not fuck the beta (it wasn’t shown) in which case it would be five & four.
After the man is finished inside her he tells her that he is getting married, presumably to a Japanese woman. Daddario gets upset and goes by herself to the water to stare out aimlessly.
She confides her problem to one of her friends, a foul-looking goth woman with a huge nose. They commiserate with a bunch of bullshit about the guy getting married to someone else and the ugly goth woman takes her out to a club.
While the goth goes out to find drugs, Daddario is left alone and the scene abruptly ends and cuts to her acting hysterical in bed, as if she woke up from a nightmare. She goes out to the water, then back to her room.
The scene cuts back to flight attendant school. Daddario’s boss is happy because she does a good job with the lesson. She gives her a gift as she is leaving. When she opens it, we see that it is the cartoon pornography book and it becomes clear that it is left by the “gangster” (we now know that is his occupation because her friend called him that, otherwise we had no indication except for possibly the tattoos and the incident in the restaurant, and perhaps his brooding demeanor). The book has a card for a “love hotel” inside it, on the Octopus page that she was looking at when he spoke with her. Daddario goes to the love hotel, meets up with Kazu and he fucks her again.
After he finishes in her, they engage in some pillow talk where she asks him about his upcoming marriage. He says he loves the woman out of duty and it is not exciting (implying that Daddario is). The implication is not believable. Daddario’s sexy, but many women are. Where does the excitement come from other than her well-formed tits, nice ass and pretty eyes? Her road-rash vagina? Her alcoholism? Her frumpy clothes? The wrist restraints? We’ll never know, and there is no reason to care.
Kazu fucks Daddario again.
She meets back up with her friends at the usual bar. The friend-zoned guy brings a nerdy-girl to the meeting. They make out at the table and Daddario and the other friend seem jealous.
The next day the Kazu brings her new socks and asks her to skip work to spend the day with him. They go on a train. He takes her to some old-looking temple he calls “Buddha’s room” a place where, he tells her, “You can be re-born and let go of your past.”
The entry tries for super dramatic with blurring and a dramatic reveal of the centerpiece of the room. However, I must admit, I found myself not giving a fuck about the entire scene or the room. Why would I care?
They leave and he tells her it’s her new birthday. Again, I found myself not caring. It just sounded stupid, not cool or mysterious or religious or anything. Stupid. They get back on the train, she sleeps while he stares at her. But then he leaves her while she is sleeping, getting off on a different train stop. She wakes, gathers herself and goes out into the train station, a bit flustered.
She goes to work the next day, arriving late, and as she arrives at the classroom she sees that there is a new teacher in the room. Her boss sees her and fires her.
The movie cuts to a scene with her friend telling Daddario that she’s leaving Japan. Daddario cries and says that nothing lasts. I didn’t really give a shit about the scene because I had no reason to care about the friend in the first place. She was an empty character to me, just some woman that had been in a few bar scenes spouting bad lines. They go to the usual bar and drink before the friend leaves for the airport after delivering some ridiculous lines that were meant to seem profound. She says Daddario was “raised by wolves.” I have no idea what she was talking about. LOL!
The scene cuts to show Daddario letting a dumpy, short/fat Japanese man fuck her in a “love hotel.” Then another man fucks her in another hotel, with the only difference being the room and the second Japanese man was not fat (I could tell it was a different man even though I admit I didn’t care).
The scene cuts to Daddario walking down the street where she sees Kazu with an old couple. She follows him through the streets, drinking a beer and then tossing it away. It was boring and I felt no emotion during the chase because I didn’t give a shit about her or Kazu. Her blue eyes looked pretty (as they did throughout the film), for what it’s worth. She sees him go into an apartment building. Crying and hollering “Kazu” she knocks on a bunch of doors, but can’t find him so she sits down in the hallway and cries. Eventually, he comes out and sees her. He’s angry with her, he yells at her that she isn’t good for him. “It could be your dirty little secret,” she says. “I am in charge,” he replies. They hug it out for a minute (?). LOL!
She professes her love for him, a bunch of times. “I love you,” over and over. As she tells him this, he takes the opportunity to turn her around and fuck her from behind, smashing her face into the wall. LOL! Okay, I guess. Whatever.
After he is finished and she is gone, it cuts to him crying and smoking a cigarette. He is now an emotional gangster, perhaps because she said “I love you.” LOL! Anybody who cares at this point about either of these characters is a weirdo.
She is shown walking through the streets in a daze. An old man saves her from walking into traffic and there is an eviction notice on her apartment door. They make clear that she is in the down-and-out phase of the formula. She is seen applying to work as a “restaurant stripper.” The women sit at tables with old Japanese men and flash their tits, presumably for money. Daddario gets fall-down drunk on the job, ordering drinks and also sneaking swigs from the bottles on the table during karaoke. There was no reason to care about the scene, and I didn’t.
She sleeps in a bathroom, presumably at her old apartment building. Then she’s crying in the street, smoking a cigarette. The nerdy girlfriend of the friend-zone guy sees her, randomly, and talks to her. The girl seems to be genuinely nice. She takes Daddario to breakfast and for coffee (Daddario orders a beer).
Cut to a scene where she’s drinking more beer, at night. She leaves and she’s being followed by a man. She walks into the tunnel where the cigarette scene from the start of the movie (we learn that was a flash forward) occurs. The man lights the cigarette and they walk to a “love hotel.” The grimy old man takes her into a room.
“I like to be submissive, do you know what that means?” she says. “Get undressed,” replies the grimy man. She does. She doesn’t dress provocatively in the movie, but when she strips off her baggy clothes we see (as we did earlier) that she has aged really well. In real life, Daddario is 34, but she could easily pass for a twenty-six or twenty-seven year old and she has a fantastic ass and perfect breasts. She is still a beautiful woman and looks, remarkably, to be years away from hitting the wall.
He tells her to lay face down on the bed, which she does. They show her at length, flat on her stomach, presumably because the man is going to do her in restrained lazy doggy-style (?). He ties her hands to the bed frame while he is still fully-clothed. He then ties her feet to the bed, but without spreading her legs even a few inches which I found curious.
The grimy man says, “it doesn’t make you special or interesting that you like [being tied up].”
“I know,” she replies.
He smokes a cigarette and they talk for a while. Still fully clothed, eventually, he says “I could kill you now.”
“Please do…Do it!” she replies.
The movie flashes back to the “Buddha room” while the audience waits (but doesn’t care much) to find out if the grimy Japanese man kills her or not. Someone knocks the door to the “love hotel” down. A scuffle happens off-camera. I didn’t care who it was at that point, but of course I was guessing that it was Kazu as it happened and a few seconds later I learn that I was right. He unties her, she has not been hurt or even fucked by the weird-looking grimy man (most of Japan fucked her but not that poor sap). They stare at each other as if it was a great love scene (it isn’t). They hug. I yawned.
The movie cuts, randomly, to a view of the the moon. Then it cuts to a train ride. Daddario is by herself but calls Kazu on her cell phone. He is riding on another train. She tells him he is right about Buddha’s room (presumably meaning she was “re-born”) and says she “feels it now.” She says “bye” and hangs up. Kazu’s hand is shown and a finger has been chopped off, presumably because of gangster shit or something. LOL!
Next thing you know Daddario is on a plane and she smiles at one of the flight attendants who I didn’t recognize but it’s obvious from the context that she was a student in the English program. I found myself not caring about that little vignette because I had zero investment in the flight attendant character and very little in Daddario.
Daddario is shown in flight, with a quick cut to Kazu, and she narrates some severe bullshit, presumably from Hanrahan’s novel. LOL! Terrible! Zero stars, avoid.