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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

The Glorious Team Batista


Reveals and twists are magnificent and confounded things, this much is sure. A film, book, piece of theatre or album can live or die on the quality of its denouement. A stunning, well-executed reveal can add an infinite number of layers to a film and enhance further viewings despite itself, a la The Usual Suspects and Memento. On the flipside, a film can be ruined by a dubious twist executed with all the grace and subtlety of a grizzly bear doing a three-point turn in a Formula One racer—Wanted, Hide and Seek, embrace your shame. In a sense, then, it doesn’t surprise that The Glorious Team Batista has two—after all, if the first reveal is awful, the second one can surely cover for it, and vice versa. However, that doesn’t mean that one of those reveals actually has to be awful, but somebody clearly neglected to tell the screenwriter that.

The Glorious Team Batista weaves a mystery around the world-famous ‘Team Batista Miracle’, a world-class group at a Tokyo hospital specialising in the risky Batista heart surgery procedure. However, after twenty-six straight operations without a single death, the corpses start piling up on the operating table, and naïve, well-meaning doctor Kimiko Taguchi is thrown in at the deep end, tasked with investigating the deaths with the assistance of Health and Labour Department investigator Keisuke Shiratori. It’s a solid mystery with interesting characters, though the Team Batista Miracle could stand to be fleshed out, often feeling like the actors are filling archetypes rather than characters. However, the actors work with the restraints of their roles and give solid, entertaining performances­—Yuko Takeuchi is strong as the bumbling Dr Taguchi, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi teeters convincingly on the line between saint and murderer as pathologist and suspect Ryo Narumi, and Hirsohi Abe steals every scene he’s in as the arrogant, abrasive Shiratori.

The film’s weaknesses do lie in its narrative, be it in the underwritten Batista team members, the predilection towards hospital drama clichés, of the balancing of the awful twist and the bold, intelligent twist. The script is underscored by some easy humour and the mystery is quite unpredictable, but its undeniable entertainment value can only somewhat hide its glaring flaws.

The Glorious Team Batista
Director: Yoshihiro Nakamura


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  1. John Cena says:

    See you at Wrestlemania, Batista. RAAAAPPPIIDDOOO!

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