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Dangan Runner 15 rating

Acclaimed Japanese director Sabu (Happiness, Miss Zombie) with this frenetic, kinetic action comedy set on the bustling streets of Tokyo, the story of three losers brought together by fate.

Drama 1997 82 mins

Director: Sabu

Overview

A would-be bank robber (Tomorowo Taguchi from Tetsuo) forgets his mask on his first big heist, and then botches an attempt to shoplift a replacement mask from a nearby convenience store. The store’s clerk (Diamond Yukai from Lost in Translation), a washed-up rock star, chases the thief and literally runs into a Yakuza (Shinichi Tsutsumi from Our Little Sister) to whom he owes money. Thus begins an all-night, three-way pursuit through the streets of Tokyo.

Director Sabu became one of the leading practitioners of V-Cinema during the 1990s, the independent, direct-to-video scene that arose in Japan to challenge the ubiquity of the major studios. Like his contemporary Takashi Miike, Sabu would rise from V-Cinema to become a mainstay of the international festival circuit, and Dangan Runner (aka Non-Stop) shares some of the manic energy of Miike's early works, though with its relentless dynamism and hyperactive narrative it's also reminiscent of non-Japanese 90s cult favourites Run Lola Run and Pulp Fiction.