Review by David Cirone
Bloody Monday wants to be 24 really, really badly. Fans of the Kiefer Sutherland’s thriller series will instantly recognize counter-terrorism unit THIRD-i’s split-level concrete and glass command center, the series’ slick production design, and yes– even a Janeane Garofalo look-alike.
Just like 24, the plot is set in motion by a double-cross in an exotic locale, introducing the deadly and beautiful Maya (Michiko Kichise). Her terrorist group is starting the countdown to drop a virus on Tokyo.
Frightened by early threat warnings, THIRD-i pulls 17-year-old master-hacker Fujimaru Takagi (Haruma Miura) out of retirement to help track down the terrorists. Fujimaru’s known in secret circles as “Falcon,” and at 17, he’s old enough to (a) be a master hacker and (b) already retired due to his father’s high-level position at THIRD-i, his younger sister’s Haruka’s dialysis treatments, and a previous run-in with the government 2 years ago.
All is forgiven, though, if Falcon agrees to help THIRD-i. But the terrorists also want Falcon’s help, and they kidnap Haruka to help make their case. Falcon plays both sides against each other and manages to rescue her, but the terrorists are just getting started (10 more episodes to go…!).
They set off a gas bomb in a crowded shopping mall, infecting everyone with the Bloody X virus. Should THIRD-i risk letting these victims escape, allowing all of Tokyo to perish? Or should they follow orders and shoot anyone who escapes the mall’s barricaded exit?
The “Falcon Effect” when Fujimaru does his hacking tricks is a lot more fun than just watching typing and code streaming across the screen.
The THIRD-i ensemble of actors is great, and they definitely make the young actor Miura bring his A-game.
The villains’ dramatic line “…Bloody Monday” is used over and over, with a sound FX cue that you’ll hear a hundred times before the series ends. In case you didn’t get the hint, “Blood Monday” is going to be really, really bad.
The underage hero as the sole savior of Japan is sort of far-fetched. Surely there are some experienced Japanese hackers in their 20s or 30s who are holed up in small Tokyo apartments wishing they could get in on the action. (But then again, would they be as attractive as Haruma Miura? Doubtful.)