Hard Days (2023)

Hard Days (2023)

A detective has a series of terrible, horrible days in this decent Japanese thriller remake



Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Akira Emoto, Go Ayano, Hayato Isomura
118 min


Films like these honestly feel comforting because even if you’re having a bad day, you’re not having a day as bad as detective Yuji Kudo.

What it's about

Detective Yuji Kudo is having a tough night. With his mother in the hospital, and his department being investigated for bribery, Kudo is in a rush. He thinks things couldn’t get any worse, until he accidentally hits and kills a man with his car.

The take

Everyone has those days where nothing goes right, but no one’s having as bad of a day as detective Yuji Kudo is in Hard Days. It isn’t just that nothing goes right– everything goes wrong, and he’s just a hair away from losing it all each time. This Japanese adaptation might take a slightly more serious tone than the South Korean original, but it does retain its ridiculous escalation of increasingly terrible things that could possibly happen, with Junichi Okada and Go Ayano letting loose in their detective characters’ morally dubious behavior. Hard Day is a decent watch, if a bit bloated, especially for those familiar with the story.

What stands out

While the best of the best films are deemed untouchable, good stories tend to inspire plenty of remakes. A Hard Day, the 2014 South Korean film that debuted in Cannes, is one of them. So there are at least four adaptations, and one of them is the Japanese Hard Days. The remake sticks mostly to the original plot points, though it tries to take a more serious and gritty approach, adding more backstory and characters, but it does keep the escalating ridiculousness with its action, sharp cuts, and score. While fans of the original might find it bloated, new viewers might find Hard Days a fairly decent crime thriller.


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