‘Ride or Die’ Review: Miles Ahead of Japan’s Stereotypical LGBTQ Films

In the spirit of “Thelma and Louise,” a lesbian fugitive and the woman she’d kill for hit the road with three stilettos and a blood-red BMW in “Ride or Die.” A glammed up, erotically-charged cocktail of amour fou and true romance directed by Ryuichi Hiroki and written by Nami Kikkawa, the Netflix production gives agency to full-blooded female protagonists.

That’s a rarity in Japan’s studio-dominated, cookie-cutter entertainment industry, which explains its liberating, inexhaustible energy.Based on the adult-skewing manga “Gunjo” (Ultramarine) by Ching Nakamura, the film stars actor-model Kiko Mizuhara (“Norwegian Wood”) and actor-musician Honami Sato.

The two celebs’ graphic sex scenes and full-frontal nudity are bound to be a talking point in Japan, where managers usually exert such tight control over their actors’ public image they forbid anything risqué.

Given such a system, the audacity and ardor Mizuhara and Sato generated on screen prove their commitment.

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