A meek car rental employee and a mousy nursing student wind up an unlikely Bonnie and Clyde when fate drops a sack full of mob money at their feet. In this case, fate's messy plan involves a fender-bender with a gangster, ... more »a gas explosion at a Yakuza clubhouse, and a bizarre, slow-speed ambulance wreck. The surly mob boss manages to survive and escape each of these setbacks, albeit in a pair of arm casts and with a lovesick head nurse in tow. In the meantime sleepy hero Suzuki (Masanobu Ando) and frustrated heroine Shizuko (Hikari Ishida) blow town with a fortune in large bills in hand and a bumbling gang of junior criminals close behind. Shinobu Yaguchi directs this deadpan farce with a calm assurance and a lolling, lazy pace, creating humor from the sheer absurdity of events and the frustrations of his characters: bullying blowhard Yakuza thugs, young punks whose attitude and spunk don't quite overcome their lack of common sense and basic survival skills, and a pair of underdogs who allow events to sweep them out of their dull, predictable lives of humiliation and quiet desperation. Suzuki and Shizuko hardly speak a word to each other but they nonetheless fall into a sweetly awkward romance in this charmingly oddball comedy. --Sean Axmaker« less
traegorn | Eau Claire, WI United States | 02/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I want to make that clear - this is *not* a romantic comedy, or an action flick.It's a comedy. There is a romantic connection between the two main characters. But this is not a romantic comedy.What this is, is a comedic chase movie. And it's a friggin' good one. Our heroes are the hapless Japanese stereotypical main characters: Both weak willed, and without backbone. They find themselves in possession of the equivalent of several million dollars in Yakuza cash... stolen from a gang that they think has been wiped out."Think" is the key word in that sentence. Why? Because one man who refuses to die (no matter how hard anyone tries) and six Yakuza in training are left... and they're hot on our heroes' trail.Not a perfect film, but one that you can watch again and again. I will warn you that if you're expecting pulse pounding excitement, you're barking up the wrong alley. This is first and foremost a comedy, and nothing else. Don't expect anything to blow up (I mean on screen, the explosion of the Yakuza headquarters takes place *offscreen*), don't expect shoot outs, and don't expect dramatic car chases either.Expect just to see something funny."
Michelynn | Tallahassee, FL | 12/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Adrenaline Drive' revolves around two young pushovers - Satoru, who delivers rental cars, and Shizuko, a shy nurse. Satoru's boss uses him as a scapegoat when they have a slight run-in with Kuroiwa, a sterotypical Yakuza thug, and Satoru is taken back to gang headquarters for slight torture and extortion. Another yakuza member mistakes Satoru for a new recruit, and he accidentally blows up the building (gas stoves, gotta watch out for them!). Shizuko hears the explosion while on a snack break, and, like the dutiful nurse she is, proceeds to help out the rescuers. One yakuza (Kuroiwa, of course) remains tentatively alive, and during the ambulance ride, he causes a wreck in an attempt to escape. Satoru and Shizuko escape, leaving Kuroiwa for dead, taking with them the cash from the yakuza stash. Our unlikely heros are then forced to flee remaining gang members (after literally "laundering" the cash) and the first of many ridiculous chases ensues.
Simple plot, but the unexaggerated and sypathetic characters make this movie quite enjoyable. Even the yakuza members come across as understandable... though they are violent, no true intent to harm comes across. The interaction between Kuroiwa and the head nurse at Shizuko's hospital proves especially ludicrous. Overall, don't expect any philosophy from this film, just relax and enjoy..."
Great feel-good comedy!
frostblade0 | nyeh | 07/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Adrenaline Drive really is a great comedy. To some, the pace of the movie may be a bit too slow, but it really is worth it. The jokes and stunts in this piece of farce are fresh and will keep you smiling. The characters are highly entertaining and unlike some movies where you could care less about the main characters, Adrenaline Drive successfully portrays their characters in a way that makes you want them to succeed. The plot is basically this: Suzuki is a corporate worker who can't stand up to his boss and Shizuko is a shy, withdrawn nurse who wants a change in her life. Through a series of events including a fender bender, gas explosion, underwater ambulance chase and more, Suzuki and Shizuko are thrown together with a LOAD of yakuza (gangster) money. Their wacky and charming adventures ensue. This is a romantic comedy that will keep you hooked til the end. :D"
High speed, but gentle, romantic-crime-comedy....
shinyu | Charlotte, NC USA | 07/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you stumbled into a gang war, met a beautiful girl, and uncovered a gangster's stash, what would you do? Take the yen and run! This fun comedy reminds me slightly of Guy Ritchie's films, but the main characters are a couple of young kids who just figure, it's time for the good guys to win. They are followed by a group of hapless teenage thugs who inspire more chuckles than fear, and the gangster himself, who they thought was dead. On the lam with the loot, the young couple grudgingly work together, and.....well, it IS a romantic comedy! Well acted, cleverly shot, wonderfully written, this film is a must-see!"
Worth checking out
shinyu | 06/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I really wasn't sure what to expect when I saw this film, but the box cover was so excellant that I had to check it out. This is the first independent japaneese film that I've ever watched and I really liked it. Everything about the film is original from the writing, plot, characters, directing. The great thing about "adrenaline drive" is that you don't need to be japaneese to appreiciate it. The characters are very likable and you care what happens to them. Excellent film, worth renting or adding to your dvd collection."