Jude Law Wages a Supernatural War in the Name of Pepsi

By  · Published on February 28th, 2017

Short of the Day

This is the best movie he’s done in years. Too bad it’s a commercial.

Normally I don’t like to use long-form commercials in this column unless they’re coming from really big names or are for good causes, and certainly I don’t like to promote big corporations like Pepsi, but when the commercials are as batshit crazy and hauntingly epic like this one from Japan is, sometimes the rules need to be bent.

It stars Jude Law, who’s currently enjoying something of a career resurgence thanks to his titular turn in HBO’s The Young Pope. The commercial is based on an old folk tale in which a monk named Oni, played here by Law – is it whitewashing when the culture being washed does the casting? – is betrayed and imprisoned by a deceitful senator, so does the only thing he can think of to save the village he’s sworn to protect: he turns into a massive supernatural being ready to duke it out. And yes, it’s as nuts as it sounds, playing like a cross between The Great Wall and Doctor Strange with a dash of The Cell, and I have no idea whatsoever what any of this has to do with dark-colored sugar-water, but frankly, I forgot it was a commercial til they showed the bottle at the end.

I came across this thanks to Indiewire, who was covering it because the video’s costume designer, Amy Goodheart, won the Costume Designer’s Guild award for Excellence in Short Form Design over some notable contenders including Beyonce’s “Hold Up” video. A well-deserved upset, as you’ll see.

Enjoy the short, but not an ice cold Pepsi, that shit’s terrible for you.

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