There’s something about well-done ensemble movies that brings a smile to my face. Instead of relying on a single actor or two to carry the film, the filmmakers involved trust in a group to all bring their respective performances together, into a coherently great movie. It fails sometimes, but every once in a while, you get a very fun and entertaining movie where everyone involved does a great job. Luckily, Kern Saxton’s SUSHI GIRL is one of those films. Ever actor in the movie does such a great job, that it keeps you enthralled and involved the whole time.
SUSHI GIRL revolves around Fish, (played by Noah Hathaway..yeah you read that right, Atreyu, from THE NEVERENDING STORY) a criminal fresh out of prison, where he spent the last six years for a jewel heist gone wrong, who is picked up and taken to a building where his former partners in crime await him,..along with tons of Japanese food on a naked woman. What is in store for Fish is some pretty unfortunate forms of torture, as all of his ex-cohorts are pretty intent on finding out what happened to the jewels that seemingly went missing at the hands of Fish. This is where Saxton could’ve failed, had he assembled a lesser cast, but holy shit did I dig who he had in the film. While not being a “horror” movie per se’, the cast is a who’s who of great actors of different genres, past and present. The most surprising of the bunch is Crow, played by LUKE SKYWALKER HIMSELF, Mark Hamill. As much of a STAR WARS fan as I am (Seriously, I used to be a card carrying member of the Twin Suns, the Tulare County chapter of the SW fan force..yeah I’m not very cool), I didn’t expect Hamill to not only do a great job but to steal the whole movie. Every single scene he’s in is pure gold. It’s a cross between his performance of the Joker in the Batman animated series and well,…Perez Hilton. It’s awesome to see Hamill take chances with this one, and in my opinion, it pays off. He deserves to have more films like this one offered to him because Hamill kills it.
Also involved is another favorite of mine, James Duval (THE DOOM GENERATION, MAY, INDEPENDENCE DAY) as coked out accomplice Francis, Andy Mackenzie (SHOOT EM UP) as Max, the loose cannon of the bunch, and genre favorite and Candyman himself, Tony Todd as the leader of the group, Duke. It’s an ensemble that really does well together, keeping the movie flowing and all delivering top notch performances.
Also very solid in the film, is Hathaway. It’s been years since we’ve seen him in a movie, and after watching SUSHI GIRL, I hope he keeps them coming. He does a really good job as a guy who took the rap for everyone and has spent the last six years in jail and never turned a dime on any of them, definitely paying his dues. Fish gets the brunt of the gang’s anger, as they all want to find out what happened to the diamonds they all stole (in a great flashback scene that has genre greats Michael Biehn, Danny Trejo and Jeff Fahey! in it), and are willing to do some really messed up things to Fish to get information.
What is so great about SUSHI GIRL, is that it keeps you guessing the whole time. Who’s double crossing who, and who might be responsible for the whole fiasco. It’s almost like a lower budget yet equally as fun USUAL SUSPECTS. It has some definite horror-ish moments and it’s a very fun movie to watch, keeping you guessing right up until the final reveal.
SUSHI GIRL is available to watch now on VOD, and will be released in a limited theatrical run January 4th followed by a bluray/dvd release on February 19th via MAGNOLIA PICTURES.