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“I think the alternate title applies to Petty’s career.”

Mad bomber Chris Murdoch (London), is running around Seattle, blowing up Japanese people. FBI agent, Sara Davis (Petty) is part of the team looking into the case, but though they take Murdoch’s Japanese girlfriend (Kawagoe) into custody, Lt Sugimura (Amami) of the Tokyo police sweeps in and demands they release her, so she can be returned home – her father has influence on both sides of the Pacific. Davis won’t let that happen, since the girl is their main hope of catching the bomber; he, needless to say, is none too pleased to find the love of his life in the hands of the police.

Based on a Japanese novel, Christmas Apocalype, this is a pedestrian story, not enlivened by anything particularly exciting in the script or from the performances. Petty is hardly a convincing FBI agent, with limbs like twigs, and both Amami and Kawagoe are clearly fresh from their “English as a Foreign Acting Language” classes; while you understand what they’re saying, there isn’t much depth to their performances, in that language, at least. The main problem, however, is that Murdoch’s behaviour makes no sense. The purpose in his original actions is never explained, and he behaves in convoluted ways that are only logical, as far as setting up the cinematic artifice goes.

The best thing I can say about this is, the pyrotechnics crew does a decent job of blowing things up. Otherwise, it’s a mundane time-passer, workmanlike enough on the technical level, that never succeeds in going any deeper than the most superficial level, taking the “cross-cultural cops” idea we’ve seen so often before, and doing nothing with it. It builds to what passes for a climax, at a classical concert: that makes about as little sense as anything which led up to it.

Dir: Keoni Waxman
Star: Lori Petty, Yuki Amami, Jason London, Miwa Kawagoe
a.k.a. Serial Bomber

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