CRYING FREEMAN (1995)
Directed by Christophe Gans
Crying Freeman , another one of my all-time favourites in action-cinema.
The opening of this film is beautiful, featuring the Freeman and his tattoo, the dragon.Beautifully animated, it sets the tone for a great action drama. The Freeman theme is also a nice piece of music.
The first cinema feature for Christophe Gans impresses with a visual style, that maybe reminds you of John Woo, but it is in no way a copy of that style. It is a style of its own, I am not good in trying to describe this kind of thing. I would say it`s a bit John Woo, but with a european touch to it, even if i cannot give you examples to what that should mean.
It would have looked a lot different, if they would`ve had an american director, for sure. For an action movie, this is almost too beautiful. And it is more than just an action movie , it`s also a drama and in fact it is pretty slow paced, almost all the way through. But before you get bored, the next action scene is going to hit you. Since it all revolves around assaination and revenge, there is a lot of killing going on. The Crying Freeman is the top assassin for a chinese underground organisation, known as „The Sons of the Dragon“. He was once foreced into this, drugged and brainwashed, to become the next Freeman. When he kills the son of a Yakuza boss, a beautiful artist (Julie Condra) becomes a witness. Her life is spared by him, but the rules of the dragons do not allow witnesses.
He soon after also kills the Yakuza boss. He then is ordered to kill Emu O`Hara, the witness he let go.He enters her home to kill her, but can`t. He already fell in love with her. Soon, he has to fight against the Yakuza and the Dragon organisation. Within the Yakuza ranks follows a power-struggle for the succession of the recently deceased. Then the Freeman is ordered by the Dragons to kill another member of the Yakuza. But the plan is to also kill him, after he`s done his job.
They fail, and he seeks refuge at Emu O`Hara`s place ( she seems to have quite a nice estate ). Expecting the Yakuza there, the final battle is fought. He is killing them all, except for the female Yakuza boss, who, badly wounded, promises to claim that he was killed, so he could live a life in peace and freedom with Emu.
I love this movie, for its beautiful images and stylish violence.
This is based on a Manga, and you could say, it`s only loosely based on it, since the Manga is a beast of its own.( i have never read it, but did a bit of research.)
There is no Blue-Ray yet, which is a CRYING shame. The best possible DVD version to have is the french special edition, the only one with any bonus material.
A friend of mine owns it, and it`s a beauty. Actually, even my brother has it, which is good, cuz i never saw the special features yet. What a CRYING shame,lol.
Gans later directed „ THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF“, which is a must-see as well.
He also did SILENT HILL, and after leaving the ONIMUSHA project, he is now working on FANTOMAS.