In the last 3 months I have bought and watched 21 Miike films. I am a FAN!! I just watched this one tonight, and so far it, and FULL METAL YAKUZA are my least favorites. In general I am not a fan of movies about the trials and tribulations of 18/19 year olds, and to my mind the ones in this film were more boring than most. Only a couple of them (2 of the guys) had any real 'character' to speak of. While the girls were, for the most part, all hair and blank stares. Their lives started out 'no where' and ended 'no where' with very little in between. For a Miike film, even the cinematography was rather boring. On the other and the use of 'Western' music to try and give some 'life' to all the non-action was very well done. (Miike uses Western music to great effect in many of his films.) Which brings me to the one scene that totally transcended the rest of the film and made watching the whole thing worth the time spent. Having broken up with the least interesting of the 3 young men, one of the girls is forlornly riding a street car to the sound of flamenco guitar. The scene cuts to the bar/café where one of the other young men works as a cook. An older woman we had seen incidentally early in the film comes out from behind a curtain dressed in black sequins and rhinestones and starts to dance to the guitar music (which has continued to play), much to the amazement of the others in the bar. Her moves are OK but not great. The scene continues to cut back and froth from the girl on the street car becoming more and more despondent, to the woman dancing. Each time it cuts to the dancer her costume has become more and more authentic as does her dancing. Finally she has become totally transformed into an astonishing dancer of great power, while the young girl has become totally lost. The finale of this sequence is classic Miike!!! The whole thing was mesmerizing! But then we are dropped right back into the land of the boring. For another 30 or 40 minutes. Towards the end, Miike does throw in a moment of great fun, a kind of gloss on the American wild boys in a car theme. But that then trails off into the sappiest ending one could possibly imagine. If you want to see Miike do 'young people' and do it brilliantly then watch LEY LINES, CITY OF LOST SOULS, and BLUES HARP. These are some of his best films. Only if you are a die-hard Miike fanatic should you bother with this one.
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