When a former stunt coordinator is in charge of creating an action movie, you know the whole movie will be simply stunning. Yûji Shimomura was the brains behind the epic battle scenes in films like Flash Point, Evil Ninja and The Warrior’s Way. But if those titles don’t ring a bell, then the only one that you need to be aware of is Re:Born, which is due for its worldwide release next year.
The first scene gets your blood pumping when a man in military fatigues is approached from behind and has his throat slit. However shit gets very dramatically real when our protagonist calmly kills an assassin by twisting their neck, before dodging a bullet shot from a briefcase gun, while unloading a weapon’s magazine and reloading the miniature firearm with a pen – which he fires straight into his enemy’s neck.
But he clearly wants to make sure that his opponent will definitely die, and open-palm punches the pen into the guy’s throat until he drops to his knees. WOAH. And this is just the trailer.
When an entire squad of Japanese Defense Force soldiers are cut down during a training exercise, it appears the worst is true: the Ghost, a legendary covert operative, has seemingly come back and set his targets on the force that used and abandoned him. His old comrade is now living a quiet life and trying to simply slip by unnoticed as he raises the young girl in his care, but must return to the world he abandoned to stop his former friend turned enemy.
After exploding onto the scene as the star of Ryuhei Kitamura’s Versus back in 2000, Tak Sakaguchi (Alive, Shinobi : Heart Under Blade) has been one of the go-to action stars and fight choreographers in Japan, with a loyal cadre of fans all around the globe.
Having worked for a few years behind the camera as action choreographer on Sion Sono’s Tag and Tokyo Tribe under a pseudonym, Re:Born arks Tak’s return to the screen with collaborator Yuji Shimomura (Death Trance, Flash Point, Warriors Way, Gantz:Perfect Wars) with him.
Built around a unique fight discipline created by combat supervisor Yoshitaka Inagawa, with a script stripped back to its bare essentials, Re:Born plays like a sort of First Blood reflected back on itself. Director Yuji Shimomura – one of the world’s most under-appreciated action directors and a key member of Donnie Yen’s stunt team – shoots vicious segments with a raw elegance while Sakaguchi proves once again that his quiet gravitas makes him one of the most compelling action stars in the world.
Watch the trailer here:
Re:Born premiered at The Fighting Spirit Film Festival two weeks ago, but will be shown at several other festivals in the UK and Ireland before its theatrical release next year.