It had been a long time that I hadn’t gone through a range of emotions and had so much fun while watching a movie. I got to fulfill such an exciting experience while viewing “Too Young To Die!” straight out of Japan, which made its Canadian premiere at Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival.
Daisuke has just died. Pretty rough start, huh? The bus he was on for a school outing flew off the side of a cliff and went crashing down below. He is sent down to Hell, wondering where he is, and why he was sent there. There is a special process, when in Hell, however: you must present a musical performance before Lord Enma (the “judge” of Satan’s empire) who will then, according to his appreciation of your performance, determine what kind of reincarnation you will obtain. You do have a limited amount of chances, though, to attempt to be reincarnated as a human, and if you run out of opportunities, you are doomed to become a demon in the depths of Hell for eternity. Daisuke finds out that there was one survivor from the bus crash and is determined to discover if it is the girl with whom he was secretly deeply in love with. He does everything in his power to be reincarnated as a human to see her again. Hilarity ensues.
Part horror; part comedy; part musical; part sentimental. Hard to combine all of these cinematic aspects together and make it work; “Too Young To Die!” does. Despite having ordinary special effects and make-up, you forget all about that due to how awesome the film is. Each actor is sensational; the storyline is extremely well-developed; the reincarnations, among many other things, are hilarious; and the music is surprisingly catchy and very entertaining. In addition to all of this, the film succeeds in having truly deep, sentimental moments, as well as forcing you to sink into profound, thoughtful, existential questions.
The characters are all appealing, whether it’s Daisuke, the members of the band “Hells”, or Lord Enma himself. You quickly get attached to the protagonist at how innocently in love he is, and how it sometimes influences him in making silly decisions, but also at how firmly determined he is of perhaps meeting the girl he loves, once more, to truly express his feelings.
You truly won’t see the 125 minutes fly by, as laughter and anticipation of Daisuke’s next reincarnation will keep your eyes glued to the screen. There is never a dull moment throughout the film, whether it is from the hilarious discussions, the depiction of Heaven and Hell, the enjoyable musical performances, or the flashbacks on the bus crash that allow you to comprehend more of the storyline as the plot unfolds.
Do NOT miss “Too Young To Die!” regardless of your taste in movies. It is a fantastic combination of styles, succeeding in blending a grand variety of entertainment and evoking diverse emotions. It deserves a solid 4.5 stars out of 5.