Too preachy for its own good

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


I've never read anything by Japanese crime writer Keigo Higashino, but the film adaptation of The Wings of the Kirin feels very much like a novel. It's less a film adaptation than a representation of a book in another medium.

A man is found murdered, with a knife wound to his stomach, near the Kirin statues which stand atop Tokyo's Nihonbashi bridge. Huyuki Yajima (Takahiro Miura) is found carrying the wallet and briefcase of the murder victim. Annoyingly for the cops, he falls into a coma before they can question him.

Detectives Kyoichiro Kaga (Hiroshi Abe) and Yuhei Matsumiya (Junpei Mizobata) are on the case. They're certain that there's more to it than just a theft resulting in murder, despite that being the logical explanation.

They question folks related to the case, including Yajima's girlfriend Kaori Nakahara (Yui Aragaki) and the murdered man's family. Sharp-witted Kaga knows there's something missing - he just has to work out what.

The Wings of the Kirin is too preachy for its own good. It's as though the film was made specifically for moral teaching. Everyone is so one-sided and has redeeming qualities that, naturally, get to shine before the end credits. The filmmakers force their philosophical ideals on the viewer by constantly harking back to a mantra that morally (almost) everyone is innately good. Yawn!