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Sundance review: ‘Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter’

First Published      Last Updated Jan 21 2014 12:04 am

"Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter"

U.S. Dramatic

**1/2 (two and a half stars)

Filmmaking brothers David and Nathan Zellner conjure up the spirit of another cinematic brother act, the Coens, in "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter," a comedy as dry and chilly as the Minnesota winter where it's set. Rinko Kikuchi ("Pacific Rim," "Babel") stars as Kumiko, a meek Tokyo office worker who becomes obsessed with finding the treasure she sees buried in a scene from a certain Minnesota-based movie. So Kumiko takes her boss' corporate credit card and flies to Minneapolis, armed with a well-researched homemade treasure map and meeting helpful Minnesotans along the way -- including a clueless deputy played by David Zellner (who directed). The Zellners' script creates some interestingly offbeat Coen-esque characters (though it must be a wild coincidence that Kumiko holds her pet rabbit the way Llewyn Davis carries a cat), but the execution is so deadpan that it barely registers a pulse.

-- Sean P. Means

"Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter" screens again at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Redstone Cinemas 1, Park City; Thursday at 2:30 p.m. at the Prosepector Square Theatre, Park City; Friday at 6 p.m. at the Tower Theatre, Salt Lake City; and Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Egyptian Theatre, Park City.