All over the place is one good way of describing this shot on video feature. Calling it perhaps the most bizarre coming of age film ever is another good way. Japanese cinema has been extremely interesting over the last few years with Takashi Miike (“Audition”, “Visitor Q”) leading the pack of new wave directors whose films drop their viewers into real life settings where absolutely anything can happen. In these films, nothing is improbable. “Sabu: Good-bye Their Youth” takes after this new exciting breed of movies and comes off as quite a valiant effort.
Let me see here, two outcast high school boys make a blood bond and rename themselves Sabu and Ken. Sabu then stabs to death a girl he had been fantasizing about after catching her in a gangbang. To avoid persecution, Ken accompanies Sabu to Tokyo where they plan on making something of themselves. They first shack up with a bunch of revolutionaries who intend on taking over the world. Then they decide to try and be stand up comics. This is where Ken and Sabu meet their girlfriends. Sabu and his girlfriend enjoy a happy relationship, which spawns a child, but Ken’s girlfriend kills herself because he belittles her constantly. Ken then decides to become some sort of knight, wearing a cape and crown, and wielding a sword as he roams the countryside searching for the meaning of life. Then Ken returns to Sabu and they’re a happy family again. I’ve left out a lot of little twists and turns, but you get the idea.
This film is effective in the sense that it takes its audience along a wild and twisted ride, but the thing is, “Sabu” gets a little too erratic at times, so that you lose track with just what the hell is going on. There were plenty of times during this film that I didn’t have the foggiest of what was happening, but I just stuck in there (like the champ that I am) and waited for it to get back on some sort of track, which it always did.
A valiant effort indeed, but I would’ve liked to have seen the film kept under control a little more, so that it wasn’t so difficult to follow. I’m no dummyhead, it’s just that I like to be let in on what’s happening, too.