The debut film by Kern Saxton is going to open up talk of this guy being the next Quentin Tarantino. While those are pretty big words, this is a pretty violent and different kind of film that felt very inspired by a lot of Tarantinoâ€™s early works like Reservoir Dogs and maybe some Pulp Fiction thrown in. The movie opens with Duke ( played by Candyman himself Tony Todd) and he is forcing this Sushi Girl to lay naked and be covered in sushi. We also learn that she is pretty much emotionless and lying on this table not knowing what will happen next. The story starts to come to form as we are introduced to Fish who is a rookie thief who just got thru serving 6 years for armed robbery. When he leaves prison for good behavior, he tries to make contact with his kid and his ex, and neither one even acknowledge that he exists, in addition to this he is picked up from jail by a driver who is bringing him to this sushi feast with the mastermind of the robbery that got him in jail, Duke. Along with Fish and Duke are the others that were involved with this robbery as well from 6 years ago.
It seems this reunion or get together, however you want to view it has a common theme, they all think that Fish has the diamonds from the robbery and they all want their cut. Well, even though he tells them repeatedly that he does not have them; the guys decide to torture him. The Reservoir Dogs reference will happen when it from the masks they wear for the robbery and also comes when it is time to torture Fish, if you thought what they did in Dogs was harsh, wait till you see the scene with a sock and a broken bottle, that scene alone is worth the ticket to rent this or even go on a blind, and buy it. This film literally grabs you by the throat and does not let you go. The violence in this film is disturbing, graphic and very hype worthy. For a first time director to take this concept and shoot almost 80 percent of the film in one location and keep it so interesting and very intense is such a feat in itself. The flashback scenes that play out during the film help tell the back story of how we got to where we are, and what everyone means to this reunion of sorts.
Mark Hamill in this film really shines, and it has been so long since I said that about the ex-Luke Skywalker, this film he gives a performance that could equal Madsen in Dogs or even Rooker in Henry, he appears on the surface to be this nice mild mannered guy until you really get to see what makes him tick and he pulls out all these sadistic torture tools and does so in a way that almost felt like he was channeling Heath Ledger. Tony Todd does what Tony does best and that is sell the role, he makes you believe that he has it all under control and that he is running the show, but at times in this film you feel he is losing control of this ship of thieves. Noah Hathaway, James Duval, Andy Mackenzie as the other thieves were really just as solid, each character seemed to have so many layers to them, that what you think you see is not what you will always get with them.
The cameos in this film, Sonny Chiba, (which could be a nod as well to True Romance) Jeff Fahey, Machette himself, and Michael Biehn, all of whom made this film feel like a geekâ€™s wet-dream, that they only had screen time just to make that cameo that would make a crowd cheer. This film was really a great time and I think fans of old school fare like anything I have name dropped in this review, would eat this sushi up quickly.
8.5 out of 10