HOOK: members from a diamond heist gone wrong six years ago gather for a celebration dinner where sushi is served on the body of a naked woman.
LINE: presumably one would watch this based on the premise alone (what do you mean it's sushi served on a naked woman?!). ten seconds in and my mind's been taken over by the lush visuals and crazy performances. Fish (played by noah hathaway) has just been let out of a six-year prison sentence -- waiting for him in the prison parking lot is a guy twice his size, with an invitation he cannot refuse. Duke (tony todd) is the heist ringleader who's dinner invite to celebrate Fish's prison release is accepted by Crow (mark hamill), Francis (james duval), and Max (andy mackenzie). all four men are convinced Fish hid the diamonds from the botched heist and seize the opportunity to force a confession. a dinner with your four ex-con buddies in a remote restaurant on a dark, rainy night? guaranteed pee-in-your-pants freak-out, no matter how beautifully naked your dinner is served. two-thirds of the film is lavished on the dinner -- each delicious, nail biting, gum chewing moment of it. every second is punctuated by in-your-face dialogue -- mark hamill's Crow (the perfect unhinged jester) in particular gets quite a few memorable one- liners. when Crow is not making withering observations, Max is busy breaking apart the room and the people in it. Francis is the cowering conscience of the audience while Duke's even, measured menace casts the shadows overall. and you, the audience? you get to watch Fish suffer through literal torture. crazy, intense, holy-crap-they-did-not-just-do- that torture. and all the while, the sushi girl is laying on the table. not making a peep admist the cursing, the gushing blood. what in all hells is going on around here!?
SINKER: now here's the thing -- it'd be easy to dismiss sushi girl as a b-grade gore fest. which is the laziest of all lazy conclusions. the first ten minutes tell you otherwise, from the sushi girl's reaction to Duke to Fish's anguish over his son not recognizing his voice. while the film happily (gleefully) takes you to those moments where it wallows in torture pr0n, there is quite a revenge story lurking beneath all the flashy talk and flying bullets. a twist ending worthy of many repeated viewings. a movie can be pretty (which sushi girl most definitely is) but without a good story supported by convincing performances, it cannot be memorable. the cast of sushi girl gave all that and bag a chips to bring to life extreme characters that, at turns, make you laugh and then scare the bejesus of you. the film rides on these highs until it slams you with a climax that turns the roller coaster on its head -- where you're left savoring the bittersweet emotions that only the best revenge stories can evoke. i wax fancy verbage but i do not lie. sushi girl is the kind of film that everyone will reference in the future -- or at the very least try their damnedest to imitate and post to you-tube.
Upon his release from prison, Fish is brought to an abandoned restaurant by his old associate, Duke, to celebrate his newfound freedom. However, there's unfinished business that Duke is determined to solve.
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