I watched this film solely because it had Inoue Mao in it. I haven’t seen any good reviews for it. In fact, I’ve not seen any reviews at all. This film had just sort of drifted past without notice on its release in 2012.
And I can totally see why. It’s a feel-good film, made in the style of Hula Girls. The storylines are the same: a small town council decides on a unique scheme to raise the town’s profile. In Hula Girls, it was Hawaiian dancing. In Tug of War it’s – you guessed it – tug of war. In this case, a female tug of war team.
And just like Hula Girls, each of the band of brave amateurs seems to have a domestic problem to overcome, such as an elderly father with dementia, or a rebellious teenage son.
It’s all so predictable, right down to the life-affirming montage where the team starts practising properly. Too obvious to be funny or interesting and too lightweight to be emotionally engaging.