Crying Freeman

Crying Freeman [1995]

Director: Christophe Gans
Actor: Mark DacascosByron Mann

Synopsis: In ancient China, a marauding general sent his army to attack several villages. The people saught sanctuary at a nearby temple where 108 monks fought the invading army. Thus was born the 108 Dragons, a criminal organization / protector of the Chinese people. The 108 Dragons have one main enforcer known as the Freeman who is marked with an elaborate dragon tattoo that covers most of his body.

In present day, the 108 Dragons are at war with the Japanese Yakuza. Mark Dacascos is Yo Hinomura, a japanese potter who was chosen to be the Freeman. He is their assasin… an effective killing machine who sheds tears when his targets are killed. When a woman, Emu O’Hara, witnesses the Freeman kill his target, she is marked for elimination by the 108 Dragons.

The Good: Mark Dacascos gets to shine in a role that was almost tailor made for him. He portrays the Freeman perfectly and gets to take part in wonderful fight scenes. The supporting cast is made up of smaller actors who each have a definite personality that shines. Julie Condra, who plays Emu O’Hara, has probably the best voice I have ever heard. As an aside, she and Mark Dacascos are married. The movie holds very true to the original manga and is a very nice contained story.

The Bad: This is more a personal thing, but the movie does not hold 100% true to the original manga. (Spoilers blacked out) In the manga, Yo does not break ties with the 108 Dragons. He still defeats the Yakuza but Emu is allowed to marry him and is marked with the Tiger (signifying her as the wife of the Dragon). Yo actually becomes the head of the 108 Dragons in the second manga book. I understand they did it because this was a self contained movie, but still…

The Ugly: This movie was never released in the United States (bastards!). At one time you could only find copies of foreign versions but there are Region 0 DVDs of the movie out there you can get.

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