Trailer Review: Gyakuten Saiban (Phoenix Wright)

Several years ago I purchased a game for my Nintendo DS titled Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It seemed like a ridiculous thing, a video game in which you played a lawyer, and the goal was winning cases. It was wildly fun, the stories were absurd, and the point-and-click style gameplay was rather clever.

Now, over in Japan, prolific genre filmmaker Takashi Miike is adapting it into a feature. Oh, you read that right. Phoenix Wright, directed by the man behind Audition and Ichi The Killer, Takashi Miike! The game itself is absurd enough, but now there’s a trailer giving you a glimpse into the weird world Miike has constructed for his film adaptation.

I’m going to preface this with a fact: I don’t speak any Japanese, and I watched this without subtitles, so this entire thing was frantic nonsense to me. I think this made it better.

Most of us expect films about trials to be akin to 12 Angry Men and The Verdict, or in other words, not a red-bull fueled acid trip in a courtroom. In Gyakuten Saiban (which I’m hoping is the Japanese title), this isn’t how it works. Courtrooms are powered by the high octane gasoline reserved for no holds barred driving on the autobahn.

Everyone is screaming. They are pointing fingers at each other, and attempting to shoot laser beams out of their eyes in split-screen. Laywering is intense. The camera is zooming on important evidence, and characters are gasping at the amazing revelations that are happening! People are lying and the truth is being uncovered!

Pretty much every character in this film appears to be a mirror image of their animated counterparts, and most importantly, the hair is all intact! Protagonist Phoenix Wright has his pointy raven hair, his rival, Prosecutor Edgeworth, has his well groomed gray, and then there’s that chick with the afro.

They lawyers also seem to be throwing CSI Miami style space computer screens at each other. I have no idea how these fit into the legal process, but I’m going to check that off as awesome as well.

From this in depth scientific analysis of this trailer I didn’t understand, I’m going to declare that there is no chance this film can be anything less than amazing. This trailer wins trailer Cannes.

See more at the film’s Official Website.

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