We Are X

We Are X

Stephen Kijak (2016)

93min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Their success may have largely bypassed western audiences, but glam-metal band X Japan are not just big in their native country - they're a phenomenon. Stephen Kijak's polished documentary captures the group as they prepare for a breakthrough 2014 gig at New York's Madison Square Garden, allowing drummer and band leader Yoshiki to recount their long and eventful career. Splits, suicides, a brainwashing cult and industrial quantities of hairspray and make-up all play their part in the story, with the fragile Yoshiki fulfilling the role of tortured artist to perfection. Plagued by demons yet living the life of a pampered rock god, he ends X Japan's shows collapsing from his drum stool, prepared to give his last asthmatic breath to the band and their devoted fans. It all makes for wonderfully over-the-top theatre (their natty crossed-arm salutes are a nice touch), but less convincing are the arguments suggesting the language barrier has prevented X Japan from achieving true global fame; while their reputation to rock precedes them, some of their overblown power ballads feel distinctly past their sell-by date.

Cast & Crew

Yoshiki Yoshiki
Toshi Toshi
Pata Pata
Sugizo Sugizo
Gene Simmons Gene Simmons
Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson
Stan Lee Stan Lee
George Martin George Martin (2)
Director Stephen Kijak
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Other Information

Language: English, Japanese +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: National Amusements UK LtdGuidance: Swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 2 Mar 2017