Cult Japanese director Takashi Miike draws inspiration from the popular Playstation 2 title Yakuza for this unhinged tale of underworld violence in Tokyo starring Goro Kishitani and Kazuki ... See full summary »
Katayama (Aikawa Sho) is on the way home to his wife and little daughter when he stumbles on a gang of punks beating up an innocent man. Katamaya decides to help the stranger and ... See full summary »
When the mobster Iwaida Nishikawi is executed by the hit man Takeshi, his family chases the killer. Takeshi's brothers Takashi and Hideshi Miwa try to find Takeshi, who is hidden with the ... See full summary »
Raita, a Japanese businessman, just moved into an apartment building where his next-door neighbor is another guy named Raita. But as a private detective, what that other Raita does couldn't... See full summary »
The work of Takashi Miike is usually marked by bizarre characters in even more bizarre situations. By turns audacious, scary and violent, Miike has became a director renowned for his ability to shock. Perhaps his biggest shock has arrived yet with his new film "Shangri-La" - shocking only because it's the complete opposite Miike's work has became known for. Instead we are treated to a delightful, light, and outright heartwarming comedy that is thoroughly enjoyable. It hardly breaks new ground and it's nothing we haven't seen before, but it's done with such sincerity and executed so well, you can't help but admire it.
"Shangri-La" follows the lives of a group of homeless people in Japan who run into a man who nearly commits suicide and decide to help him out of his financial troubles. Using their various ingenious resources they embark on a complex scheme to blackmail a crooked businessman, whose bankruptcy claim has put people out of work. It's a fun romp as these seemingly homeless people manage to outsmart the very people who cast them from society. Miike knows enough not to over explain his characters or to drop the plot in emotional syrup and knows to keep things tight and moving along briskly to its inevitable conclusion.
"Shangri-La" is a welcome addition to Miike's filmography but hardly indicative of his work. First timers should start with "Fudoh" or "Visitor Q", but those looking for something completely familiar need look no further.
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