Starring: Shôzô Endô, Anna Ishibashi, Honkon
Director: Yoshifumi Fukazawa
Running Time: 79 mins
Busjack is a Japanese film about a man who, while taking a bus across the country, is mistaken for a a hijacker, with the group of fellow passengers on the bus all caught up in a chaotic and farcical ride.
Although it’s not up to the quality of a big-budget, mainstream film, I actually had some fun with Busjack. On the one hand, its small scale makes it feel a little underwhelming at times, but with a screenplay with enough silliness and farce, it’s an enjoyable watch over the course of its short but sweet 79 minute runtime.
It’s a simple case of mistaken identity, following an innocent man who, through a series of ridiculous misunderstandings, ends up accidentally taking a bus full of people hostage. That simple premise works really well throughout the movie, particularly in its farcical opening act, and along with some good humour here and there, it makes for a really enjoyable time.
When I say good humour, I don’t necessarily mean that the film is a perfect piece of comedic work, and you won’t really be laughing your socks off, but it does have a strong enough atmosphere of general silliness and farce to make the light humour fit really well.
So, while it’s not an incredible film, it’s a simple enough story with a light-hearted atmosphere that’s just enough to make you chuckle and smile throughout, with the film’s first act – in which there are all sorts of ridiculous mishaps and misunderstandings – really shining as a good bit of fun.
The only issue with Busjack, however, is that it doesn’t quite have the innate quality to really sustain your interest throughout. Naturally, it’s always hard for a low-budget movie to impress right from the outset, but with good writing, they can still prove just as entertaining as anything made by Hollywood, as this film proves early on with its great farce.
However, the somewhat subpar performances throughout and story that eventually runs out of ideas about two-thirds of the way through contribute to a rather lacklustre run to the finish, with the film failing to repeat the energy and entertainment of its opening, and instead featuring an excessively preposterous finale that just doesn’t fit in well with the light-hearted nature that had worked so well up to that point.
Overall, I had some good fun with Busjack. For such a small movie, it proves rather entertaining throughout, with a great opening act complete with good comedy and fun hijinks, although the remainder of the film disappointingly doesn’t manage to sustain that quality throughout, and that’s why I’m giving this a 7.0.