Tuesday, July 29, 2014

YAKUZA: LIKE A DRAGON (2007) - Takashi Miike


Another middling yakuza effort from Miike, this one based on a PlayStation 2 game. By no means a textbook ninkyo eiga or even a run-and-gun jitsuroku, Like a Dragon follows several sets of characters in the course of one scorching night. None of them are particularly compelling, which I'm guessing has to do with the fact that they were sourced from game play avatars. There's the overly sentimental Luc Besson style story of a stoic ex-yakuza who helps a little girl look for her lost mother (above). There's the Warriors-inspired bad yakuza who prefers to incapacitate his opponents with line drives from his Louisville Slugger (below).


There's the Pulp Fiction Honeybunny and Pumpkin thread of two convenience store employees who decide to start sticking up other stores for cash. Meanwhile, an even more inept bank heist is taking place downtown. In one of the few amusing scenes, the hooded assailants treat their captive hostages to an impromptu sushi break.


I never thought I would lump Takashi Miike and Woody Allen together in a sentence, but, seriously, both of these guys are prolific to a fault. More than two films a year (Miike gets close to ten sometimes) and quantity really starts to trump quality. That said, I'm still excited about the upcoming Yakuza Apocalypse.

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