Directed by: Shutaro Oku | 95 minutes | drama | Actors: Junko Emoto, Namiko Hatori, Kentaro Kishi, Kazunobu Mineta, Kaori Momoi, Hideki Noda, Ren Ohsugi, Nao Omori, Marie Ono, Kazushi Watanabe
An accident involving a nuclear reactor causes the necessary fallout radiation in a Japanese city, which entails the necessary dangers for the population. Yuichiro lives in this city. Yuichiro is a twenty-six-year-old man who still lives with his mother. His father died of lung cancer and since then Yuichiro does not seem to pay much attention to his training as a doctor. He is stuck in a daily grind. In addition, he also has large debts that he cannot pay off. His creditor forces him into dealing drugs, but this too does not generate enough money. Then a friend advises him to become a guinea pig in a medical experiment. Yuichiro agrees because of the great reward, but this experiment is not without risks.
Not only is Yuichiro’s life not exactly rosy, he also has a girlfriend, Mashimo, who is pregnant. Whatever Mashimo tries, Yuichiro hardly gives her any attention. The ominous opening credits of ‘USB’ set the tone, although you really have no idea what the movie is about yet, you know it won’t be a comedy. The course of the film is relatively calm, with the exception of a number of excessive violence scenes. People are shot through the fibula or head without mercy, this is portrayed so pontifically that you can almost feel it yourself.The most remarkable scene consists of a psychedelic visual trip about the nuclear explosion. Accompanied by a heavy beat, we are provided with beautiful black and white images of a mushroom cloud and a shock wave that sweeps everything away.
The major flaw in ‘USB’ by the relatively unknown director Shutaro Oku is the lack of a clear beginning and end of the film and therefore the lack of an understandable structure. As a result, you are, as it were, in a stage of the life of the main character, but the film does not take shape and remains too vague. It becomes more fascinating and oppressive when Yuichiro decides to participate in the scientific experiment, but then three-quarters of the film’s duration is already over. Nor is it clear whether the nuclear accident resulted in an isolated and controlled environment. Only a few allusions are made to this, but a demarcation of the area is never shown. This could have given the film a little more subcutaneous tension,
Incidentally, little is noticeable of the radioactive radiation effects, only the blooming cherry blossom reflects the possible consequences of such a disaster. An ecological disaster that manifests itself in the typical beauty of the Japanese cherry blossom, only now it does not bloom in the spring but in January while the snowflakes descend on the blossom. ‘USB’ puts an elusive character in a city that has to contend with the consequences of a nuclear disaster, but fails to make this a fascinating whole.