A little bit ago, I watched Kagi no Kaketta Heya, the Locked Room Mysteries, and I noted that one of the main characters, Sato Koichi, was also in a new special called Saigo no Bansan~Keiji Tono Kazuyuki to Shichinin no Yougisha~, or in English, The Last Supper~Detective Tono Kazuyuki and the Seven Suspects~. It looked interesting so I checked it out. Here is my review.
Nine customers attend the opening of a new restaurant, Osteria da Vinci, seated under a giant copy of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, but before dinner comes, an arsonist starts the place on fire and three are killed and the rest, even those who are hospitalized, escape. Now, Detective Tono Kazuyuki and his new partner Tatematsu Shunta have to figure out who done it and how all of these seemingly random people have a connection.
For the main cast, I guess I don’t have to mention Sato Koichi, since he’s the one who brought me to watch this in the first place. Emoto Tasuku, who plays the rather hapless Tatematsu Shunta, hasn’t really been in many other crime or mystery dramas, he seems to have spent most of his time in family dramas, which I honestly don’t watch. Rokkaku Seiji, who played Sugisaki Takao, has got a number of really good roles in past dramas I’ve loved, including Ningen no Shomei, Densha Otoko, Puzzle and 7 Mannin Tantei Nitobe. Finally, Narimiya Hiroki, who played Yagisawa Takahiko, chef and owner of the restaurant, was in the Akihabara@Deep movie and series like Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo 3, Trick 3, Saiyuuki and Bloody Monday 2.
Overall, it was an interesting enough 2 hours, but there wasn’t really anything spectacular about it and, to be honest, it didn’t feel very exciting. The suspects all pretty much hung around their homes and were easy for the police to find when they needed them, there wasn’t much of a rush to find the arsonist. They bill Tono as a “master of interrogation”, but I don’t remember seeing him being all that masterful, in fact, he spends more of his time criticizing his young apprentice Tatematsu for not catching rather obvious clues. Most detectives in these roles have some kind of odd quirk, but if they were trying to provide that for Tono, it certainly wasn’t obvious enough or odd enough for my liking. Speaking of Tatematsu, he may be straight out of the police academy, but they’re apparently not teaching much there because he’s entirely emotional, thinking that every suspect he encounters must be the one who done it, it’s not until the very end that he starts operating on his own and making some good observations. I was rolling my eyes at how telegraphed the mystery was though. Throughout, Tono and his boss spent far too much time saying “Sugisaki can’t be responsible, no restaurant owner is going to burn down his own restaurant!” Of course, that’s exactly what happens and it was so blatantly obvious from the first time they were interviewing him in his hospital room. Beyond that though, I have to agree with many of the characters in the drama, it does seem rather silly that Sugisaki would spend all the time and energy and money putting together the restaurant, paying for absurdly expensive bottles of wine, just to bring together the nine people he blamed for the death of his girlfriend. Isn’t there a simpler way to do it? For someone who had it all planned out to the tiniest detail, his plans were foiled by a motorcycle helmet left at the front door? It just strikes me as a bit strange and by the end, when Sugisaki has kidnapped all of his “suspects” again, after he shoots Tatematsu, after he’s locked everyone in the burned out remains of the restaurant and plans on killing them all, how he’s so easily talked out of it by Tono. And by the way, how long were they in that restaurant? It was light when they went in, dark when they came out and Tatematsu has been bleeding all that time from a gunshot wound to the arm? Sure dude, way to take care of your partner.
It’s too bad that this wasn’t a better movie. It has a stellar cast, even among the “bad guys”. Kuroki Hitomi (Otome-san and the upcoming Kagi no Kakatta Heya SP), Hongo Kanata (Himitsu no Hanazono) and Ishiguro Ken (Chakushin Ari, Q.E.D.) have done fine work in the past and were pretty decent here, they just didn’t have enough to work with. Maybe that’s the reason I don’t tend to watch the more “mainstream police dramas”, they’re just not interesting enough for me and this certainly fits into that category. I’d have liked it if Tono was a little more offbeat, if Tatematsu was a crime-solving genius, or if Sugisaki’s plan was a little more ingenious, but in the end, it sort of all falls a bit flat. Like I said, an interesting enough two hours, just nothing to write home about when you’re done.