Takashi Miike has gained a tremendous following over the past 5 years with such masterpieces a Audition and Ichi the killer proving that he can hang with the best of them when it comes to inventive and original concept movies. However, before he gained his fame on this side of the pond he was just another low budget Japanese filmmaker, now whilst his early movies are certainly entertaining they just seem to lack the emotion and effort that went into Ichi and Audition. This is no different, welcome to low budget DTV hell.
Let take a look at the plot shall we, you seen Robocop? Yes, then just skip to the next paragraph. If you haven’t then here we go. Yakuza foot soldier is killed, crazy scientist guy resurrects him as half man , half machine all Yakuza. Now he’s on a path of revenge against those who killed his friend and save his love from the evil boss of the rival Yakuza clan. Hilarity ensues.
If you’re a fan of the genre then this movie has lot and lots of great positives for you, gore, lots of gore. Gore to the point that Luciano Fulci would say “damn that’s a lot of gore dude”. Tons of action, great direction and cinematography. For the budget they Threw him Miike has done a tremendous job at putting together not only a coherent movie but also an entertaining one (as long as you’re a fan of the genre).
Alas for every positive this movie brings it has at least 2 negatives to go with it, the aforementioned gore at the end of the day add absolutely nothing to the movie rather than to satisfy the no brainers in the audience. Gore for gores sake simply shows that you had nothing else to fill the movie with so you go for the lowest common denominator. The action scenes while flashy and impressive just come of as way to cartoon like. The type of sword fighting that plagues Kill bill Vol. 1 is all over the place here, it was fine with Bill as it was more parody like, but here its played as all out serious stuff. The characters and just totally mind numbing to the point I couldn’t give a shit about any of them, why should I care when someone gets killed of gains their ultimate revenge if I don’t give a shit about their character. Would it have been so difficult to take out 2 or 3 of the 6 billion action sequences and add in a little character development?
As I said if you’re a fan of the genre this will no doubt satisfy you in all the way you have become accustomed to from the DTV Asian action market. If like me you look for a little more depth in your movies than just gore and flashy action be warned this movie offers nothing beyond those elements. 5 out of 10.