After watching the brilliance that was director Ryuhei Kitamura's Versus, my first move was to instantly seek out and watch all of his other films released here in the states. Enter Alive, the next feature length film that Kitamura released. Much like Versus, it features the similarly bizarre plot elements, ultra slick and stylish direction, moments of brash violence, and even Tak Sakaguchi in a minor role. Unfortunately though, where Versus featured a near unrelenting amount of violence that gave way to a few moments of exposition and plotting, Alive plays it completely the opposite way, with a near unrelenting amount of exposition and buildup with very few moments of actual action. The film follows two prisoners, who after surviving their death sentence by electrocution, are given the choice to live but only as part of a government experiment... that's when things get really strange. Turns out there is an "entity" that inhabits a person with the greatest urge to kill and gives them almost limitless powers, of course the military wants to harness this power through the surviving inmate. Sounds pretty cool right? Don't be fooled like I was, this is anything but cool. Instead it's a slow-moving mess of a movie that isn't helped at all by it's 2 hour runtime (where in Versus you never wanted it to end, you'll find yourself watching the timer on the DVD player more than the actual movie here)and anyone who enjoyed (or loved like myself)Versus would be better served skipping this and seeking out either Aragami or Azumi for more familiar stylized and violent entertainment. For fans of the film (both of you), Tokyo Shock has delivered a very nice 2 disc special director's cut of the film with some decent bonus features (Making Of Alive featurette, cast and director interviews, and trailers galore). With Versus, it seemed like director Kitamura had found a cure for Narcolepsy (the condition of falling asleep spontaneously and unwillingly)with his kinetic, "don't blink or you'll miss something" delivery... well with Alive he's cured another sleep condition, Insomnia.