Million Dollar Man fails to keep viewers engaged and should have just stayed a novel [Movie Review]

Nicola Chan |

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Adapted from the bestselling Japanese novel of the same name, Million Dollar Man forces the audience to contemplate the nature and value of money, but the story sort of loses its appeal when delivered on screen.

When librarian Kazuo (Takeru Sato) wins 300 million yen (HK$21 million) in the lottery, he worries he won’t manage his money wisely. He calls his rich university friend Tsukumo (Issey Takahashi), an entrepreneur, for tips.

But Tsukumo disappears with the money. Kazuo must contact everyone close to Tsukumo to hunt him down.

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With a thought-provoking script that invites viewers to evaluate how they perceive money, the drama is very relatable in a capitalist climate.

Much of the focus is on how much control money can have over humans, while reminding us of the ironic fact that money is essentially papers and coins and we decide what they are worth.

Despite the film’s alarming and important messages, it doesn’t do enough to keep the audience in suspense. In addition, the story has an illogical plot development, which make it even less convincing and enjoyable.

There’s no doubt that Million Dollar Man is food for thought. But if you’re solely interested in the intellectual stimulation that it offers, you’re better off reading the original book than watching this mediocre drama.