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Ace Attorney ("Gyakuten Saiban")

Canadian Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2012
  • 135 mins
  • 35mm
  • Japanese
  • English (subtitles)
Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2012
Official Selection, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 2012
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2012

“Fast-paced, story-driven, surprisingly exciting and above all: immensely entertaining” – Ard Vijn, TWITCHFILM

In the near future, the crime rate has skyrocketed and the only way the legal system can keep up is the rapid-fire new “bench trials” in which defense and prosecution confront each other tournament-style, with three days max to close the matter. A bumbling rookie in the field, defense lawyer Phoenix Wright, may well be in over his head. His defense of Mia, the sister of his murdered boss and mentor, Maya Fey, succeeds at the last second — thanks to an assist by the victim’s ghost! Soon thereafter, Wright’s childhood friend turned courtroom nemesis, powerhouse prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, is the one standing accused, and Phoenix is his only hope to confound the conspiracy against him and make those magic words ring out — “not guilty!”

Japan’s wunderkind of weirdo cinema, the inexhaustibly productive Takashi Miike (responsible for last year’s astounding 13 ASSASSINS, never to mention IZO, ICHI THE KILLER, AUDITION and countless more) turns his attention the world of video games with the riotous new romp. Adapting the crazy Capcom game “Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney”, Miike hammers us with a hard-hitting, high-stakes courtroom drama and film noir murder mystery that just happens to feature absurdly aerodynamic hairstyles and anachronistic art direction, eerie supernatural episodes and goofy slapstick gags galore, a giant lake monster and of course an utter disregard for anything even beginning to resemble proper legal procedure. Hyperactive, hilarious and thoroughly unpredictable, loaded with punchy plot twists, lowbrow laughs and delirious visual delights, ACE ATTORNEY is one fine freak-out of a film — case closed!

— Rupert Bottenberg