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3 Reasons Why HBO Max's 'Tokyo Vice' Is Great – And One Why It's Definitely Not

Image credit: HBO Max

New HBO Max crime series starring Ansel Elgort is premiering tomorrow, but some critics have already watched first five episodes and have a lot to say about it.

The show follows a young American journalist's descent into Tokyo's criminal underworld, and with the first episode directed by legendary Michael Mann, critics were certainly impressed. Here's three reasons why you should watch 'Tokyo Vice' (and one why you actually shouldn't).

It's Michael Mann's first directing credit since 2015

New HBO Max show marks Mann's first directing gig since poorly received 'Blackhat' released way over 7 years ago. Hollywood legend became famous for helming such cult films as 'Heat', 'Collateral' and 'Ali', and although he actually directs only one episode in the series, his influence can be seen throughout the whole story.

Ken Watanabe is in it!

Veteran Japanese actor Ken Watanabe, famous for his role in 2003 'The Last Samurai', shines as strong-willed Tokyo detective, and critics are already hyping his performance as a possible awards contender. It's always nice to see foreign actors getting the recognition they deserve, and Watanabe is considered to be one of the most prominent Japanese actors of the XXI century.

90's Tokyo is carefully and accurately reconstructed

Recreating the feel of a certain place in certain time is not a small task, but it seems like 'Tokyo Vice' team earned an A+ for their efforts. Late 90's metropolis comes to life on screen, with all its shady parlors, crowded streets and towering skyscrapers capturing the zeitgeist of that time.

It's yet another story of a white American in a foreign country

At times, 'Tokyo Vice' seems kind of shallow in its depiction of complicated Japanese culture. Having a white male lead certainly doesn't help with it – Elgort performance is strong, but the overall idea behind the show can be a little patronizing towards Japanese people.

'Tokyo Vice' will begin streaming tomorrow, April 7, 2022, on HBO Max.

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