Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Movie Review: Suspect X (The Japanese one)

My exams are finally finished and now is the start of my 1-month semester break, so I finally have the time in my hands to write on a review of the best movie (best Japanese movie at the very least) I've ever come to know. I've watched this movie quite some time ago actually, and I think I'm going to watch it again soon.

Title: Suspect X (Yougisha X no Kenshin)

(Not to be confused with Samurai X or Rurouni Kenshin)

What is it about: Who needs forensic science when you have physics? And who needs alibi when you have mathematics?

Review: What happen when you strike a steel ball with several steel balls aligned on a rail on one end? Obviously, according to the law of conservation of energy and momentum, the energy will be transferred and cause the ball on the other end to roll at the same speed. What happens then, when you attach a powerful neodymium magnet to one side of the line of steel balls and a ball is rolled towards it? It will cause an instant acceleration of the ball prior to striking the line, causing the ball on the other end to fire at a high speed. What then... if you put the steel ball on a seriously powerful superconducting magnetic accelerator? Well, according to the movie, it's really awesome! XD

Suspect X is a movie for those science geek out there who wants to see how physics and mathematics are applied in epic ways to solve criminal cases. Yes, the one doing the crime-solving is a physicist assisted by a detective. If you haven't notice, this physicist is Yukawa Manabu from the detective drama series Galileo. What makes this movie a lot more interesting, and longer than other cases he has solved in the drama, is that the adversary this time is a genius mathematician who happened to be Yukawa's best friend (and probably the one and only person who understands his physics mumbo-jumbo.)

For a little spoiler, the mathematician didn't exactly commit the crime, but assisted his neighbor to cover up a homicide she committed by creating the perfect alibi. If you haven't watch the Galileo series, Yukawa is basically a professor who has no interest whatsoever in anything but physics, and a detective often seek his knowledge in physics to solve various bizarre crimes. So, the drama is pretty much a Detective Conan style crime solving series which is rather repetitive throughout the episodes. However, in this movie, there is much more than that. This movie talks about some of Yukawa's past and his relationship with the mathematician. Being his best friend, he also had to deal with the dilemma of protecting his friends or unraveling the truth. The truth to the case is also extremely difficult for Yukawa to unravel and for the first time ever, he actually did mistakes in his deductions. Well, he is going against a genius after all. Also, in this movie you'll get  to see Yukawa being emotional which totally does not happen in the drama even if someone were to drop dead in front of him.

If you love physics and/or mathematics and you learn them in high school or university, you'll definitely like this movie. You don't have to completely understand them, though I doubt anyone can unless your name happened to be Albert Einstein. It's still pretty cool to see how these people do their reasoning and calculations. Of course, there are much more of these to be seen in the drama series Galileo, which brings me to my next point.

As much as this movie makes references to physics and mathematics, I must unfortunately admit that this movie has significantly less application of physics in the crime-solving process that it does in the drama. This is because this movie highlights the complexity behind the crimes rather than the methodology, hence more applications of logic is deployed. It also focuses more on story line rather than pure crime-solving. It is more on the characters being calculative in their respective plans and investigation, rather than their actual performance and demonstration of the theory and math. This is rather unfortunate, but I believe it is a reasonable sacrifice. If you would like to see Yukawa applying the laws of physics full force and solving impossible crimes like a boss (and shaming the cops in the process), be my guest and watch the Galileo series. Trust me, it's really not bad!

Rest assured though, this movie is definitely not a boring one especially given the complexity of the case. What detective movie is better than two great minds going head-to-head with each other? Also, while this movie could get pretty serious, it does also make you laugh at times. In other words, this is not the typical detective movie that involves nothing but crime scene investigation, illogical coincidences, yada yada yada, the end. There's actually a lot of story line in it, and they are interesting to watch. Last but not least, that girl is quite pretty! XD

Rating: 8.5/10

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