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.
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 »
We begin in 1865, when the Shogunate is on its last legs, but still capable of punishing its enemies. One is Izo (Kazuya Nakayama), an assassin in the service of Hanpeida (Ryosuke Miki), a Tosa lord and Imperial supporter. After killing dozens of the Shogun's men, Izo is captured and crucified. Instead of being extinguished, his rage propels him through the space-time continuum to present-day Tokyo, where he finds himself one with the city's homeless. Here Izo transforms himself into a new, improved killing machine, his entire soul still enraged by his treatment in his past life. His response to the powers-that-be, whose predecessors put him to death, is the sword. Written by
IZO (4+ outta 5 stars) Well, this movie gets only 2 kinds of ratings... either really low or really high. There's no way around it... you will have to see it for yourself to figure out which it deserves. I found the movie a bit confounding at first... but it definitely makes more sense after a second and third viewing. There really isn't much of a plot. Izo, a dead warrior, is flung arbitrarily through time. He kills everyone he comes into contact with... good, bad, he makes no distinctions. The movie is director Takashi Miike's attempt at some kind of philosophical dissertation on violence and religion. Pretentious? Well, of course! When you get right down to it, ALL philosophy is pretentious! But, is the movie entertaining? Yes. Does it provoke thought? Yes. (Even if most people's thoughts will be along the lines of "What the f*** is going on???") Imaginatively-staged action sequences are piled on non-stop, one after the other. Occasionally the action stops for some rousing acoustic guitar and wild folk-singing from Kazuki Tomakawa... who will either have you covering your ears or desperately searching for his records online. Extremely violent movie, very powerful at times ... similar in style to Jodorowsky's "El Topo". If you think you will like this movie based on the descriptions you read, you probably will. If you think it sounds like boring twaddle... well, you better go watch something else.
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