A must read, if you don't already know ...

Written by Adelyn Lim

"This was a great movie. It has a very simple plot that involved a whole lot of people. It's packed with lots of action. And when I say "action", I mean real action."


English Title
Yamakasi - The Samurais of the Modern Times



Release Date
4th April 2001



Running Time
Approximately 90 minutes

Ariel Zeitoun

Châu Belle Dinh - Baseball / Oliver Chen
Williams Belle - L'Araignée (Spider) / Bruno Duris
Malik Diouf - La Belette (Weasel) / Malik N'Diaye
Yann Hnautra - Zicmu / Ousmane Dadjacan
Gutlain N'Guba-Boyeke - Rocket / Abdou N'Goto
Charles Perrière - Sitting Bull/Ousmane Bana
Laurent Piemontesi - Tango/ Jean-Michel Lucas
Maher Kamoun - Vincent
Bruno Flender - Michelin
Amel Djemel - Aila
Afida Tahri - Fatima
Nassim Faid - Djamel

The Plot
This is the story of seven modern samurais who play the role of the modern Robin Hood, in order to save a little boy from dying from heart failure.

The Summary
Seven normal young men, who called themselves the Yamakasi, always got on the police's nerves by climbing up the walls of high-rise buildings early in the morning, disturbing the sleep of the neighborhood. Much as they were the seven "pain-in-the-ass" to the local police, they were also the seven heroes in the eyes of the kids. The kids loved to imitate the Yamakasi the action and one day, an accident occurred involving a young boy called Djamel. To prevent death-threatening complications, the doctors suggested an immediate heart transplant. A suitable donor was found outside France. However, Djamel's family members could not afford the $60,000 transportation fees. Feeling guilty and determined to help Djamel, the Yamakasi decided to raise funds for him. They then decided to play the role of Robin Hood and rob the rich doctors. On the other hand, Detective Vincent took the route of persuading the minister's advisor for help only to be rejected by him. With the police hot on their heels, the Yamakasi face the dilemma of abandoning their mission to save little Djamel or carrying on the samurai spirit to fight till the end. Engaging the help of Michelin, they managed to deliver the cash on time to the hospital but got themselves detained. However, despite their hard efforts, the doctor refused to go ahead with the operation.

The Ending
The Yamakasi gave a cock and bull statement to the police and was backed up by Detective Vincent. They were released and immediately headed for the hospital. With the help of the Yamakasi and Detective Vincent, Djamel managed to get the heart operation done.

The Yamakasi
1)Oliver Chen aka Baseball
-likes to play baseball

2)Bruno Duris aka L'Araigné (Spider)
-likes to slide down ropes instead of using the stairs

3)Malik N'Diaye aka La Belette (Weasel)
-does gymnastics pretty well

4)Ousmane Dadjacan aka Zicmu
-some calls him Mister Music
-Likes loud music

5)Abdou N'Goto aka Rocket
-runs very fast

6)Ousmane Bana aka Sitting Bull
-a quiet calm man

7)Jean-Michel Lucas aka Tango
-likes to dance

The Action
This was a great movie. It has a very simple plot that involved a whole lot of people. It's packed with lots of action. And when I say "action", I mean real action. These guys don't use guns or any form of weapon and they don't do much fighting in the movie. Throughout the whole movie, what the viewers see is actually the agility of the seven young men. Although they spend most of the movie running away from the police, the process was actually rather entertaining. I love the way they actually climb up and down high-rise buildings and jump from roof-top to roof-top. It was so realistic. Much better than those action-packed ancient Chinese movies where the pugilistic people practically "fly" from one building to another, which was probably one kilometer apart. With the Yamakasi, there wasn't such nonsense at all. Everything was absolutely realistic and excellent. Perfect!

The Plot
Apart from all the action, I found that the plot was also pretty okay too though most people would not have enjoyed the movie as much without the action. The movie was a mixture of samurais and Robin Hood. Actually, to be more précised, it was more of seven samurais pretending to be Robin Hood - to rob the rich to give to the poor. But I thought they did it better than Robin Hood. Robin used bows and arrows but they had nothing. They had to rely solely on their black knitted masks, haversack and their agility to escape from the heavily armed police.

The French Police Have Nothing Better to Do
It's true! The police seem to be doing nothing but trying to target seven big kids that are doing nothing but climbing up and down buildings at 6am in the morning. I mean, don't they have anything better to do? Don't they have murders to investigate? Why waste time and resources on a bunch of kids?

The Police Were Totally Useless
Aren't policemen supposed to be well-trained? They seemed pretty goofed up to me. In the movie, they seemed like total losers, running after a bunch of kids. What's more? It took them so many hours and probably the whole police force with weapons, to manage to detain seven crooks. Hmm…. what does it say about our dear law enforcers?

The Best Performance
I can't exactly point out who had the best performance because I don't think I can even point them out individually. The trait of the Yamakasi was that they always appeared together, all seven of them. And so I always look at them as a group and not as an individual. And if you really want to know, all right, the seven of them were okay. They were a bunch of cool and weird people.

The Cool and the Weird
I thought the Yamakasi was cool, yet I thought they were weird too. Yeah, it's cool rebelling against the police and not get caught, I guess. It's great being the hero in the eyes of the kids in the neighborhood. Makes them look like a superhero - superman or Spiderman, or something. On the other hand, I felt that it was weird. Normal kids don't go around climbing up walls or jumping from roof to roof. I mean, I would be freaked out if I looked out of my window one morning to find this guy staring back at me.

The Great Looking One
After watching this movie, I know one thing for sure. Châu Belle Dinh was so handsome!!! Oh goodness, he looked like Chiu Man Chiok. Perhaps even better looking than him. I liked that scene where he was climbing halfway up a building and he stopped to peep into one of the windows. He saw this little girl there and winked at her. I think if he were to do that to me, I'd faint. Not because the thought of seeing a face outside my window scares me but because he's drop-dead gorgeous! I swear I'd faint! Is he a Chinese? His name in the movie was Oliver Chen, so I guess he's Chinese right? Perhaps he's half Chinese?

A Multi-Racial Yamakasi
I realized that the seven of them have different skin colours. There are blacks, whites, Asians as well as people from the Middle East. They were diversified here, which was a good thing.

The Real Yamakasi
The reason why all the stunts looked so realistic is because they are…well….real! No computer effects and no camera tricks or any of that crap. In real life, the seven of them have known each other for 10 years and the background of the Yamakasi is rather similar to their own.

4 out of 5

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