Which would you rather have:
- Kids beat up mafia
- Kids get beat up by aliens
I would rather have the first option.
For the first thirty minutes, Tekkon Kinkreet is basically about that. It opens with the main characters, Black and White, fighting these other kids that try to push on their territory. They don’t take no shit, so they beat up those kids. However, the next kids turn out to be adult yakuza thugs, looking to turn Treasure Town, the hometown of Black and White, into their own little financial playground. So, they fight mafia, police get involved, and all that stuff.
We get to the middle, and the film then decides to take it somewhere else. Instead of fighting mafia, the boss of the gang decides to contract this dude who has these henchmen that might be aliens. Black and White try to take these guys on, shit happens, and then they both go crazy. Wait… why are there aliens?
It honestly could not keep my attention when it got to the last thirty minutes, and it becomes a movie about the dramatic spiritual innards whatsit that Black and White have. When they get separated, White starts going crazy and Black goes even crazier. This super badass character then shows up and kills the aliens, but apparently he’s the true self of Black… then we get this long mental battle. Black has to pick a side, and he picks his brother. Well, good for him, I guess.
The aliens themselves are pretty weird. They dress funny and have a strange assortment of weapons. For example, one uses a crossbow and the other has a rocket launcher. I’m sorry, what? Let me get my slingshot and FGM-148 Javelin. The slingshot is for tanks and the Javelin is for Goliath.
Treasure Town is a god damn amazing place, and much of the movie shows off the chaotic colors and architecture. It reminds me of the parade from Satoshi Kon’s Paprika oddly enough, in that it is busy, colorful, and alive.
Treasure Town is obviously the playground for Black and White, but using aliens to convey a sort of “greater power” that wants to take away their sense of ownership is silly to me. Instead of being a movie about Black and White’s attempts to keep their city the way they want, it delves into the inner evil of Black. It could be argued that the aliens are forces greater than them trying to impose their will on Treasure Town, and Black’s inner evil is him willing to do anything (including murder) to impose his will on Treasure Town (in other words, keep it the way it is). Still, I think that could be perfectly conveyed without the use of aliens, because the yakuza, as far as I know, are still pretty badass.
After viewing it once and thinking about it a little, this movie comes off as convoluted. My interpretation regarding the aliens might be true, but I think any greater understanding of Tekkon Kinkreet would require multiple viewings or a closer reading. Tekkon Kinkreet is about two hours long, so unfortunately I do not have the time to do that.
Oh, and it was directed by Michael Arias, an American. Pretty cool.