Bounce Ko Gals

"Weak"

Bounce Ko Gals Review


As Larry Clark turns the struggles of young adults into so much tabloid fodder, Masato Haradi takes on the subject of teenage high school girls that walk on the wild side in Bounce Ko Gals. Using a vérité approach, without cinematic lighting, he places us in the midst of a young and desperate Tokyo. His cast of open faced girls in schoolgirl socks and skirts is expressive and often funny, but never deep or poetic.

The 24-hour time frame gives an easy structure to the story of Lisa (Yukiko Okamoto), who has saved up enough money to move to New York. Taking time off to shoot a micro-budgeted music video, she discovers it's actually a big scam to rip off her savings. Able to save her passport and ticket, she doesn't have any cash to support herself in America. Enter two Bounce Ko Gals, Jonko (Hitomi Sato) and Raku (Yasue Sato), to spend the evening with her on the streets finding men who will pay large sums just to be seen with hot teenage girls.

Bounce Ko Gals touches on the neediness of older men hungering for these children, mostly for companionship. As their stomachs sag and their hair recedes, they pay fast cash just to sit across the dinner table from a pretty young thing (or to have some relaxing karaoke with them). The film implies that a common night for these underage nymphs passes without sex or violence, and the corruption is only surface deep and sad.

Of course, sex and violence are never far away from their high-strung lifestyle. One of the girls is seen having an abortion early on, and a Yakuza gangster threatens their livelihood because they're taking money off the streets that could be his. Things get a little flashy, involving a street fight and a lot of John Hughes-style teary-eyed confessions. Bounce Ko Gals professes to show all, but it's central story is a time-honored bit of show business. The girl who needs to make a lot of money quick implies that we should cheer on these dumb bunny teens as they sink further in the morass.

The story is told without judgment or condemnation, and it's refreshing to see a filmmaker so hands-off with after-school special moralism. But Bounce Ko Gals also never takes a serious stance on its subject matter, and the fact that its presentational faux-realistic style seemingly professes to be "the truth" -- a document of the facts -- makes for a questionable viewing experience. It's a fake that doesn't admit its phoniness. As the girls act bad, the movie tips uncomfortably into those 1950s "bad girl" melodramas (High School Hellcats, anyone?) And when a girl proposes the idea of doing drugs again to lose weight, it's almost disturbing until you realize it's intended as a laugh line. One longs for the Natural Born Killers laugh track to expose the teeming hypocrisy of it all.



Bounce Ko Gals

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 18th October 1997

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 53%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jonko, as Raku, as Sap, Shin Yazawa as Maru, as Saki, as Oshima, as Lisa

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.