In order to settle a business dispute, a mob leader murders one of his own teenage sons. The surviving son vows to avenge his brother's death, and organizes his own gang of teenage killers to destroy his father's organization.
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
Without a home and feeling no obligation to Japanese society or Yakuza, Ryuichi (Takeuchi Riki) and his small group decide to make their own place by trying to take over the Shinjuku underworld and the drug trade from Taiwan. As they plan an all-out-assault on the remaining Chinese and Japanese mafia kings, only Detective Jojima (Aikawa Sho) stands between them and complete domination. Written by
WARNING: This motion picture contains explicit portrayals of violence; sex; violent sex; sexual violence; clowns and violent scenes of violent excess, which are definitely not suitable for all audiences.
Hey this wasn't bad at all. I expected shocking violence and gory thrills, based on the film's reputation, but what I got instead was a thinking, feeling, bizarrely creative film. This was my first Takashi Miike film, and my expectations were low, partly because he's so hyped, and partly because I'm over being shocked, and his films have a reputation of being, well, shocking. The character of the cop is especially palpable, and the scenes that take place in his home are more like the quiet moments of a Beat Takeshi film. This dramatic realism is somehow anchored in the otherwise chaotic flow of the rest of the film. There's a real anything-can-happen vibe to this film that keeps you on the edge, yet when you reflect back upon it, there are really only a few heavy action sequences. I thought that was pretty brilliant, though some may feel disappointed by the low count of flipped cars. Hey wanna see an action film? See Formula 51; that had plenty of action, with no damn reason for any of it. And what a forgettable film that was. Dead or Alive is rollicking and at times inexplicable, but never boring. Highly recommended.
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