Vital ★★★

Vital, like so many of Shinya Tsukamoto's films, hooked me right away. The first act is so deeply rooted in specific moods, places, and in a specific time. The latter is perhaps more a result of the era in which this was made, rather than a conscious effort on Tsukamoto's part to intentionally and precisely capture a then-modern aesthetic.

I was enamored with all of this; engrossed with the recurring imagery and the slowly evolving sense of dread and paranoia. However, all that mystery and intrigue kind of fizzled out into stale melodrama. The movie tips its hand early and reveals everything it's going to say and do right off the bat. The rich atmosphere can only sustain so much stone-faced brooding before something has to happen.

However, little ever does. A gorgeous looking film, but perhaps the first Tsukamoto film I'm not already itching to revisit or analyze.