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Dead or Alive 2: Tôbôsha (2000)

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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,518 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 13 critic

Two contract killers cross paths in the middle of the same job and realize they are childhood friends.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shô Aikawa ...
Mizuki Okamoto (as Show Aikawa)
Riki Takeuchi ...
Shuuichi Sawada
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Noriko Aota ...
Kôhei's wife
...
Boo
Ken'ichi Endô ...
Kôhei
Hiroko Isayama
Masato ...
Hoo
Yuichi Minato ...
Head of orphanage
Ren Ohsugi ...
Mizuki's stepfather
Manzô Shinra
Tomorowo Taguchi ...
Man with telescope
Teah ...
Woo
Toru Tezuka
...
Magician Higashino
Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi
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Storyline

Two contract killers cross paths in the middle of the same job and realize they are childhood friends. Together they take a break from killing and visit the small island they once called home. After reflecting on their past lives they decided to team up and use their talents in killing for good... much to the upset of the crime syndicates. Written by Danny Leary

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

2 December 2000 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Dead or Alive 2: Birds  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Connections

Followed by Dead or Alive: Final (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another great movie from Takashi Miike
12 January 2003 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

Dead Or Alive 2 is a name only sequel to Takashi Miike's breakout Yakuza movie Dead Or Alive. Lead actors Show Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi made such a good impression together in the original that they just had to be brought back for another round, but here they play different characters in far different circumstances, in a movie that is very different from its predecessor. In fact, it's pretty different from any other movie I can think of, which is an accomplishment that Takashi Miike seems able to produce time and time again.

The DVD case tries to sell the movie as an ultra-violent gross out pic, which Takashi Miike is certainly capable of producing (and which DOA 1 was to a degree). In fact this is rather a misrepresentation. There are a few scenes of violence, and they are typically extreme, but they are few and far between, and really just serve as a backdrop for a fairly mannered and whimsical character driven drama.

Show Aikawa and Riki Takeuchi grew up together in an orphanage on a remote Japanese island, where they had good times and were the best of friends. But Show Aikawa is taken away to Osaka as a teen, and the boys do not see each other until many years later when they are both grown men. They meet up again on the island where they grew up, both on the run from the Yakuza. They chat, play games and contemplate what life has made of them.

DOA 2 has certain similarities with Takeshi Kitano's brilliant Sonatine, as gangsters are forced to take Time Out in an idyllic location and regress towards childhood. Miike makes the movie his own though, and the characters in particular stand out as unique and surprisingly likeable. The movie is usually billed as a comedy, and there are many very funny moments, but there's an underlying tenderness and melancholy behind it all too. It's a movie that definitely has the "heart" that Miike movies are sometimes (unjustly) accused of lacking.

Show Aikawa undoubtedly steals the show from co-star Riki Takeuchi this time around, being far more animated and interesting. Takeuchi is brilliantly deadpan and stoic, but that doesn't work as well for him in this movie as many of his others. Both actors make their characters believable and engage the audience in their fates well though. Look out for an absolutely brilliant cameo from director Shinya Tsukamoto too.

DOA 2 is another uniquely Miike movie, full of little moments and details that showcase that imagination and intellect which I dare say are unparalleled in modern cinema. It's a much less stylised movie than DOA 1, but probably more substantial, probably more rewatchable. A highly recommended movie.


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