Adrenaline Drive

Imagine True Romance as directed by deadpan filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and starring an all-Japanese cast, and you'll have a good idea of what Adrenaline Drive is like.

A shy, rather geeky young couple – a slacker rental car employee and a studious nurse – bump into each other, and into about $2 million of stolen Yakuza money. After a moment's deliberation, they decide to take the money and have some fun with it. Naturally, the Yakuza find out, and you've got your standard "two young lovers on the run from the mob" scenario, only in a very low-key Japanese vein.

For better and for worse, it's cute and kind of fun. There's hardly any "adrenaline" to speak of, however. (The film's title might be sarcastic.) In any event, I noted that this looks more like an American independent film than anything I've seen come out of Japan, recently or ever. The lighting is flat, the camera work unremarkable, the pacing languid, the theme familiar, the characters weak. But the story has lots of nice little twists and turns and there is plenty of good, dry humor throughout. You could do worse, but it's by no means a "must see".