Invisible Waves
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Having an affair with your boss’s wife is never a brilliant idea—but when your boss is as powerful and connected as the man that Kyoji (Tadanobu Asano) works for, it could be deadly. When he’s caught having an affair with his boss’s wife, Seiko (Tomono Kuga), Kyoji is told that all will be forgiven if he’ll just agree to kill her. Once he does (the only way a chef like Kyoji knows how—by poisoning her), he’s told to leave the country right away—to escape punishment. He’s given a ticket for a cruise ship to Thailand, where, he’s told, his boss will help him start a new life.

On the ship, Kyoji befriends a beautiful woman named Noi (Hye-jeong Kang), who’s traveling alone with her infant daughter. Since his quarters are cramped and far from luxurious, the eccentric Noi is the perfect distraction. They part ways once they arrive in Thailand, though—and there Kyoji begins realize that things aren’t exactly going as he expected. His living accommodations are horrible—and as soon he’s settled in, he’s beaten and robbed. In need of help and spending money, he’s sent to Lizard (Ken Mitsuishi), a drunken playboy and karaoke singer who’s also Kyoji’s boss’s connection in Thailand. But it soon becomes clear to Kyoji that Lizard isn’t really there to help him after all.

Invisible Waves is quite possibly the least thrilling thriller I’ve ever seen. In the beginning, the story is difficult to follow. And even after I figured out what was going on, I had a hard time caring. The characters aren’t especially developed—nor are they exactly likeable. And the whole thing is long and drawn out and painfully dull. After 45 minutes, my friend and I were just about ready to give up and walk out (as many of our fellow moviegoers eventually did), but, ever a glutton for punishment, I kept thinking that something interesting had to happen sooner or later—and I feared that, if I left, I’d be missing out on something brilliant. But, unfortunately, nothing did happen. And I definitely wouldn’t have missed anything brilliant. There isn’t much dialogue (which could be seen as a good thing, if you’re unenthusiastic about reading subtitles), and there’s very little action. And even the scenes that could have been suspenseful and/or action-packed were, instead, long and boring and anti-climactic—making it less than ideal for the late-night showing that I attended. Then, in the midst of all the dull, lifeless scenes, the filmmakers chose to insert a couple of bizarre slapstick scenes (featuring a bunk that won’t stay down and a shower head that sprays Kyoji with water every time he turns on the sink)—which should have been my cue to leave the theater.

Invisible Waves is a strange and tedious mess. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Steer clear of this one.

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