"I don't mind nudity in films, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the story. In this film it certainly did. "
Scout Man (2000)
Director: Masato Ishioka
Producer: Kiyo Joo
Cast: Miko Matsumoto, Hideo Nakaizumi, Yuka Fujimoto, Akihito Yoshiie, Yuri Komuro, Shiro Shimomoto.
Running Time: 114 min.
Plot: Two young people search for better things by moving to Tokyo. Instead of improving their lot, they descend into the seamy world of the "scoutmen."
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
LEN'S REVIEW: Masato Ishioka's "Scout Man" tells the story of Seas and Atushi, two young lovers who have fled to Tokyo because their parents didn't approve their relationship. Money-less in Tokyo, they find that making money is surprisingly easy, assumed one doesn't have too many moral objections. Seas becomes a scout man, trying to find girls to star in adult films, while Atushi slowly descends deeper and deeper into the world of prostitution.
Sharing the subject material with Masato Harada's Ko-Gals, Scout Man concentrates on the unbelievable sex industry in Japan. True enough, at first glance this film looks great. It's fascinating, the two main characters are quite believable and the subject material is interesting. However, after over 2 hours of this, I was almost begging on my knees for this film to end. It's like everything in this film is too long or too slow. The story would be great as a 30 minute short film, the subject material would be interesting for a hour or so documentary but there's just not enough to keep the viewer interested for 125 minutes.
It's not all bad though. I liked the way this film looked, there were some hilarious scenes and the main actors certainly had charisma, even though their characters were quite forgettable (I think Seas was the boy and Atushi was the girl, but I might be wrong). Also, one thing that I definitely liked was the director certainly knew what he was directing, as Masato Ishioka came to the film biz like so many other Japanese directors, by making porn films at first. I think that gives this film a certain feeling of realism. However, that's not entirely a good thing as at this film does share too many characteristics with a skin film. Much of the hefty running time is spent at filming nekkid woman tits instead of actual storytelling. I don't mind nudity in films, as long as it doesn't get in the way of the story. In this film it certainly did. Then again, this is Masato Ishioka's first film, and while that unfortunately shows in many ways, it's not completely without merits. Maybe next time he'll make one with more content.
LEN'S RATING: 5/10