Kansen Rettô
2009 / 138m - Japan
Pandemic poster


July 17, 2021


No doubt inspired by the SARS epidemic, but near-post-COVID, this film feels somewhat prophetic. A lethal flu-like virus transmitted by bats takes over Japan, with no known cure in sight. It's not a particularly original film from Takahisa Zeze, who sticks to all the familiar genre conventions, but it's a pretty effective and topical one.

After misdiagnosing a patient, doctor Matsuoka seeks out his former mentor to battle what he believes is a dangerous, unknown virus. Before long, the infection is spreading through Tokyo and Japan, wreaking havoc as nobody is really prepared for a pandemic. Before they can even start thinking about a cure, they have to find out where the virus came from.

Outbreak/pandemic films tend to be quite samey, Zeze doesn't challenge that and simply made a Japanese version. Performances are decent, the drama a little overdone, but the tension is solid and the quest for a cure pretty interesting. Maybe not the right time for some people to watch this one, but I had quite a bit of fun with it.