Judge [闇の司法官ジャッジ Yami no Shihosha Judge] (1991)
AKA Magistrate of Darkness: Judge
Starring Kaneto Shiozawa, Keiko Yamamoto, Miki Ito, Shinya Ohtaki, Tomomichi Nishimura, Daisuke Gouri
Directed by Hiroshi Negishi
Often it’s nice to go into a film with no idea what you’re about to watch, and Judge was one of those films that surprised me precisely because I didn’t know what it was. It gave me a sense of mystery and curiosity that would have been shattered if I’d heard about it before. In that sense, I suppose this review is going to ruin things for you, as you might enjoy this film best with as little knowledge as I had. But before you decide to read no further, you should know that the film is only average, and perhaps not worth such lofty concerns. It has its moments of fun, but there’s nothing that makes this some kind of must-see experience. Now on to the explaining.
It starts off with a business man in a swampy jungle, running away from a much more appropriately attired guy with a sniper rifle. This opening is where my expectations were thrown for a loop. It looked like I was diving into one of those films about some rich guy wanting to hunt the ultimate prey. So when it introduces us to the bumbling Ohma, I was expecting him to get dragged into a jungle for sport, only to prove that under his fumbling exterior were stores of unexpected resourcefulness. Obviously, this didn’t quite happen.