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Review Wild 7 a.k.a.Wairudo 7 (2011): Not as wild as it could have been but it was solid!

genre: action, crime, comic book adaptation

Wild 7 is the live action adaptation of a Japanese manga series (1969 - 1979). The series is about a special Counter-terrorist Motorcycle unit consisting of reformed convicts who are to combat the rising criminal and terrorist activities. What makes them so effective is that they basically have been given a licence to kill. Let me put it to you straight. They are a death squad.

The film starts off with the Wild 7 dealing with a group of armed robbers. It certainly made me look forward of what was to come. But very soon after this introduction one of the main flaws of this film gets exposed. The weak and generic plot. When it comes to action films I usually am very forgiving when it comes to storytelling as long as the action itself is good and enough motivation is given for that action to be extra exciting. The problem is that there is not that much action to begin with. For some reason Wild 7 wants to preach about this kind of law enforcement and how it's inhumane. There is nothing wrong with that of course. Except Wild 7 never gives you that substance to chew on. Apart from a couple of conversations the audience is never shown why this death squad was deemed necessary. Had they shown or explained that crime was rampant and that people's lives were being threatened  to a point that life was impossible then at least that would have given some context. Instead the film distracts us with a subplot concerning a mysterious stranger and a mostly unremarkable criminal mastermind who does his best to be menacing but fails to impress. You would think that they at least would tell us more about these reformed convicts and what makes them so special. Although at times seems like the whole purpose of the film is to point out that these team members aren't that special and can be replaced at any time with someone else. Naturally the Wild 7 members are special. Unfortunately we are only told what makes them unique instead of actually showing us. For me who is not familiar with this manga that is a real mistake since I truly wanted to learn more about them. Despite the characters lacking depth you do root for them. But that is because the actors do their best to make their characters likeable. Plus there are scenes where the members are shown to be noble and honourable. It wouldn't surprise me if the original manga was inspired by The Dirty Dozen. But I can't make that claim since I couldn't find facts to collaborate that. Although I assume that the original manga went deeper into describing who the characters are and what the dynamics were since usually that is what makes most anime so loved. 

Wild 7 was a little underwhelming for me since I was definitely expecting more action and violence. However I can't deny that I did enjoy the film since the action that was present did deliver. It's now been almost 7 years and no sequel or follow up has been announced or made. I wished they did already since the premise (while simple) is an effective one and could lead to real great things. 

(Note: Just in case you got it in your head that it's similar to Suicide Squad. Don't go there. You can't compare the two since this is far superior.)

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