Pyrokinesis AKA Crossfire (Kurosufaia) (2000)

Fire is another emotion.
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Pyrokinesis AKA Crossfire (Kurosufaia) - Fire is Another Emotion

From the offset it is quite apparent that the heroine in Shusuke Kaneko's Pyrokinesis AKA Crossfire (Kurosufaia) is going to go out with a bang, and not the kind of bang that a female in a snuff flick goes out with but the kind of bang that is likely to appear in a generic action movie either just before or just after the obligatory fist-fight between hero and primary antagonist. For a Japanese movie, Pyrokinesis has a very Western feel and follows numerous formulae determined by the mainstream audience of the non-Eastern world to be required in a conventional mass-appeal horror movie (or even an action movie). The obvious comparison here would be against Firestarter but that would be a job for someone who has seen Firestarter.

Despite the ever apparent ability for the Japanese audience to believe in the supernatural as if it was part of life and the flippant attitude towards rape, the movie is quite traditional in its execution and quite un-daring with regards to what avenues could be explored. This is a shame as the characters have the potential to be quite deep and complex but are given average dialogue and not developed over the duration of the movie. Junko, the living breathing arsonist's wet dream, is constantly on the verge of becoming a well intentioned supervillain recruited by the darkside due to the emotional inability to cope with the god-complex delivered by having the power to combust anyone and everything. With great power comes great responsibility... or extreme amounts of fun... but Junko doesn't really exploit her powers for either. Preventing a desperate man from committing murder is her one extreme and ruining the paintwork of a car parked in a no parking zone is the other, surely rescuing a kitty from a tree and incineration of 43 schoolgirls for having attitude problems would be much more thought provoking boundaries!

Junko is a shy little minx with a crush on her co-worker and the ability to microwave with the power of her mind. When the local happy-slap snuff club kidnap her co-worker's sister and kill her for their YouTube channel, Junko decides to use her powers to deliver some justice that the police failed to do.

Soon Junko's trail of charred corpses begins to attract the attention of other interested parties who soon begin to interfere with her plans for revenge. Along the way she meets some other superfriends including an efficient brainwasher and a protégé to instil her arsonistic morals on. Before you can say "Earth Liberation Front" the Japanese X-Men have not only doubled the share price of Volvic mineral water but have caused much more than their fair share of flaming havoc; including attracting the likes of Renji Ishibashi (without whom no Japanese movie would be complete.)

Unlike the willing female participant in Shusuke Kaneko's film premiere bukkake party it is difficult for the viewer to see where the makers of this film are coming from. The movie cannot seem to decide whether it is a horror or a romance, complicated or shallow, good or evil. The gore is low and is not compensated for with charred flesh which, although there is an abundance, is ruined by low quality computer effects. Another major issue with the film is that it cannot seem to decide when to end, it is a common plot device to twist the viewers mind with numerous surprise endings but, after the first few in Pyrokinesis, anticipation for the credits begins to become an obsessive compulsive desire. On numerous occasions the impact of the seen events would have a far greater impact if the film just ended in a screen of blackness but the inevitable inferno is delayed until the eagerness fizzles out and is replaced with a feeling of hurrythefuckupedness.

The charm of a Japanese horror movie is lost and replaced by a feeling of genericness despite the potential for some deep emotional character development and the prospective carnage that can be caused by enflaming a person from the inside, all of which is further diluted by romantic douchebaggery leaving nothing but a fairly uninspiring tale of unutilised superpowers that goes on for far too long.
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Categories: Asian Horror Movies

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