Title: Electric Dragon 80000v

Also known as:

Year: 2001

Genre: Action / Sci-Fi / Cyberpunk

Language: Japanese

Runtime: 55 min

Director: Sogo Ishii

Writer: Sogo Ishii

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0276935/

After an accident involving a power station and electricity; Dragon Eye Morrison was left with high amounts of electricity running through his body and is forced to spend his days trying to keep the violent and animalistic part of his brain from taking over. Subdued in his days looking for lizards and playing his guitar; a man only known by the name Thunderbolt Buddha is laying in wait. Setting traps to bring out the beast in Dragon Eye so Thunderbolt can finally battle another person whose body runs wild with voltage.

Our thoughts:
Ah, the first Sogo Ishii film I ever watched and is probably the most easily accessible to those who are new to him. Considered one of the staples in the Japanese cyberpunk genre, Sogo Ishii's ever punk-rebel filmmaking style is just as predominant here as it is in any of his other films. Foregoing the surreal flicks of "Tetsuo" and "Rubber's Lover"; Sogo approaches "Electric Dragon" much differently than any other cyberpunk film in general and makes a cyberpunk-superhero.

Rather than exploring the relationship between man and machine, "Electric Dragon" goes for showing the relationship between man and electricity, by having two seemingly different types of characters who have high voltage running through their systems, cross paths. There isn't any sort of message to be found in the movie; this is more about a battle between two supercharged beings done in a style similar to what you would find in a comic book.

Like any good story involving a clash of titans, most of the movie builds towards the confrontation between Thunderbolt Buddha and Dragon Eye Morrison. While that maybe boring for some, Sogo keeps the movie alive by adding some light-comedic moments as well as stunning visuals and cinematography. Though there are still some filler scenes that were included in the movie, such as Morrison looking for his lizard in the city that only serves to pad the runtime. Even so, the build up to the fight between Thunderbolt and Dragon Eye is great and because the movie is designed to be fun rather than serious, it manages to be a light and enjoyable process. So when the fight scene finally happens it becomes a great payoff because you're pumped for it to happen and haven't been dragged down with melodrama or any deep rooted messages and symbolism.

While there is only one fight scene and with a padded runtime, "Electric Dragon 80000v" still manages to be a fun and exciting movie. Sogo Ishii's fast paced and chaotic style seemed perfect for adapting a cyberpunk story into a battle of the electrified supermen. The short runtime works greatly in the movies favor as it allows the movie to keep its focus on what it sets out to do, and that's be a light and entertaining viewing experience. For those who come to expect surrealism and the experimental style usually found in Japanese cyberpunk films will probably be disappointed but if you are looking to watch your first Sogo Ishii movie then I can't recommend this movie enough.

Positive things:
- Amazing cinematography.
- Sogo Ishii's signature running scenes...Only at superhero speed.
- The theme song performed by Tadanobu Asano's band Mach 1.67.
- The characters being given introductions in the style of a boxing match announcer.
- Having words show up on the screen (in Japanese characters) that you usually see in a comic cell that often indicate action and sound effects. An amusing touch that helps to capture that superhero and comic book feel Sogo Ishii seemed to be going for.
Negative things:
- Filler scenes.
- The unexplained double-personality of Thunderbolt Buddha. They definitely could have explored that area instead of the wasting the runtime on the filler scenes.

Gore: 0/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 3/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 2/5

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