The Legend Of The Black Mask
book heroes dont come
more unusual than the daring
acrobat fighting injustice in the
fantastic action adventure from
Manga Entertainment, K-20: The
Legend Of The Black Mask...
ADAPTED FROM SO KITAMURA'S NOVEL by Writer-Director Shimako Sato (Tale
Of A Vampire), K-20: The Legend Of The Black Mask begins in 1949
in a fictional Japanese city called Teito, the Imperial Capital, and in this
alternative history the Second World War has been successfully avoided.
It is a time that has its roots in the 19th Century; and the rich get richer
while the poor get poorer. A change of occupation is forbidden and the people
can only marry within their own class. Into this strange world comes a mysterious
masked phantom known as K-20, or 'The Fiend With Twenty Faces', who robs from
the rich to give to… himself.
Russian inventor Nikola Tesla has been nominated for the Nobel Prize for his
work on wireless energy transmission. He has discovered a way to transmit energy
to any part of the globe and, using his technology, a newly-developed energy
beam generator has been built. As it is being demonstrated K-20, intent on world
domination, deftly spirits away the device, leaving behind one of his many masks.
With the energy beam generator, K-20 is set to rule the world and is about to
demonstrate just how far he will go to do so. But he needs a fall guy. He does
not have to look far. When poor circus performer Hekichi Endo (Takeshi Kanashiro:
Red Cliff; The Warlords; House Of Flying Daggers) is approached by Kozo
Tonomura of True Tales Magazine to use his acrobatic skills to take photographs
in return for a generous payment, Endo finds himself covering the rehearsal
of the high society marriage between heiress Yoko Hashiba (Takako Matsu: Confessions)
and Chief of Police Kogoro Akechi (Tôru Nakamura: Tokyo Raiders; Gen-X Cops).
But he has been set up.
Framed for the villainous K-20's previous crimes, Endo is arrested and sentenced
to death. But he manages to escape and goes on the run, helped by old friends
gadget-maker Genji (Jun Kunimura) and young Shinsuke (Yuki Imai).
Aided by a surprising ally, the only way for Endo to prove his innocence and
to clear his name is to assume the identity of K-20 and play the villain at
his own game by finding the energy generator before the Police, foiling the
Fiend's dastardly plan and discovering a secret hidden at the Hashiba Company
Headquarters by solving a clue involving a copy of a painting called The
Tower Of Babel. And to unmask the original K-20.
This superbly-paced, fantastic fantasy twists and turns, showing poverty at
its extreme alongside privileged wealth; with orphaned children starving in
tiny shanty shacks while the rich prosper. Entertaining, exciting and funny
with superb action sequences, K20: The Legend Of The Black Mask is absolutely
terrific and will be high on your list of must-watch movies.
Subtitles are easy to read and do not detract from the action and this terrific
movie has been compared favourably to such creditable period crime-fighter movies
as The Shadow, The Rocketeer and The Phantom and stands
alongside the contemporary superhero epics Batman Begins and Spider-Man
for compulsive viewing.
Crammed with special effects and benefiting from exceptional stunt work that
includes some classy free running, K-20: The Legend Of The Black Mask
is pure escapism at its best and is suitable for all the family. Uniquely Japanese,
this cool and light-hearted caper showcases dramatic set pieces, amazing tricks
and impressive acrobatics.
K-20: The Legend Of The Black Mask also features Kanata Hongo as Junior
Detective Yoshio Kobayashi; Toru Masuoka as Inspector Namikoshi; and Reiko Takashima
as KikuKo, Genji's wife. Executive Produced by Abe Shuji and Okudu Seiji and
Written and Directed by Sato Shimako.
The fabulous K-20: The Legend Of The Black Mask swoops onto DVD and Blu-ray
from Manga Entertainment on 10 January 2011. Certificate: 12 | Running Time:
137 Minutes | RRP: DVD £15.99; Blu-ray £19.99.
"Entertaining, exciting and funny with superb action sequences, K20: The
Legend Of The Black Mask is absolutely terrific and will be high on your
list of must-watch movies" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"A Japanese steampunk superhero origin tale presented with all the bombast of
a glossy Hollywood blockbuster" DVD Talk