JW: As The Gods Will (2014)

The first week of classes is over! After weeks of preparation, I met my new kids and I am quite excited to spend the next ten months with them. It would be busier than ever but right now, I leave my worries for tomorrow because I am just so glad that I was finally able to find time to just sit back and enjoy a film and even write a little something. Though this is not what I normally watch, I can’t say that I did not enjoy it. Here’s my two cents on Takashi Miike’s As The Gods Will. =)

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The Darwinian Theory has inspired a lot of death game films such as Saw, The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. Though they differ from one movie to another, most involve an evil or just plainly insane game master, a group of players – usually innocent people, a controlled environment and lots and lots of gore. Takashi Miike’s “As The Gods Will” is another one of these death game films.

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Takashi is well-known for making films that has a lot of blood-spluttering action. Less than five minutes into the film and he delivered what his followers expect, blood and more of it. Let me make it clear that I don’t enjoy violence and I am the type to giggle over flowers, butterflies and anything cute and fluffy. The opening scene would have been enough to turn me off; however, it made me want to see more. This talking doll-head (called Daruma) is playing stop-go. The class can move when it is turned away and when it faces everyone, anyone who is not standing still can say bye bye to their heads.  The game stopped only when Shun Takahata (Sota Fukushi) was able to press the button behind the head and he was the only one who survived.

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Survivors from other classrooms gather and played another survival game. This time, they wore mouse costumes and their goal is to shoot a bell in the hoop around a giant cat’s neck. You know that cat displayed in Chinese stores, the cute waving one. Along with Shun, his schoolmates Ichika (Hirona Yamazaki) and Amaya (Ryunosuke Kamiki) survived.

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They were then transferred to a giant cube where they meet other players. Then we learn that these cubes also appeared in other parts of the world and their adventures are televised for the world to see.

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They played more games with cute toys like those dolls that look like rolling pins (kokeshi dolls), a surfing polar bear, and those dolls with dolls inside (matryoshka dolls). All along, the kids do not know why in the world they have to fight. All they can think of is survival.

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Though Fukushi’s surprised look gave me an almost Kris-Aquino-horror-movie experience, Kamiki’s Amaya gave me the creeps with that evil (almost insane) glint in his eyes.  The bloody parts were tolerable, my eyes were open all the while but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a few ughs and eews. It was generally entertaining, like watching someone play a video game. It has that certain “angas” that I am looking for in these types of film.

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Just don’t take it seriously, there’s no need to dig too deep.

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2 thoughts on “JW: As The Gods Will (2014)

  1. The film probably works best when you don’t know what’s coming next because your expectations are constantly blown away but even as a reader of the manga I found myself laughing at some of the events and monsters and the way they were depicted. Kamiki stole this movie.

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