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.
An tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
A revolver-wielding stranger crosses paths with two warring clans who are both on the hunt for a hidden treasure in a remote western town. Knowing his services are valuable to either side, he offers himself to the clan who will offer up the largest share of the wealth.
An unknown future. A boy confesses to the murder of another in an all-boy juvenile detention facility. More an exercise in style than storytelling, the story follows two detectives trying to uncover the case. Homosexual tension and explosive violence drives the story which delivers some weird and fascinating visuals. Written by
Takashi Miike considers, "Big Bang Love: A Juvenile Love Story of 4.6 Billion Years", his masterpiece, and while certainly his most intellectually and aeshetically challenging work to date, it falls a tad short, of it's epic aspirations.
For a "love story" there's very little sex, love, affection, or romantic notions of any sort, there's an unstated attraction between the two characters, repressed homosexuality (one of the characters is apparently sexually assaulted by another man at the gay bar where he works, his subsequent revenge the reason for his imprisonment, but it's never shown on screen.) Had the box not mentioned "homo-eroticism" the sexuality of the characters would be impossible to tell for a good deal of the movie.
That being said, this is really more of a murder mystery, whose end is kinda predictable early on.
However Miike has grown somewhat as a director, largely the film takes place on empty stage like sets with only one or two objects in place, like a piece of absurdist theater. There's even an opening interpretive dance sequence, which though beautiful ranks up there with Miikes greatest WTF moments. Though some scenes resemble "Dogville" in their sparseness, there's also subtle use of special effects here, a small animated image of a man trying to escape and being burnt to a crisp, a computer generated impossibly colored sky, and the reoccurring images of the space ship and the ancient temple (the paths within and without). All of the bargain basement effects which Miike has utilized in the past, are integrated well here, from out of nowhere fight scenes, to awkward muted comedic moments of intimacy. So while the story alternates between aggression and tenderness somewhat awkwardly, the visual aesthetics of the movie, fill the screen and the eye with both space and discreet details (otherwise this probably be a two star affair, ratings wise.) If you like Takashi Miike movies, at their most experimental (Gozu, Izo, etc), this is essential viewing, or if you happen to be interested in abstract, philosophical, prison love, sci-fi, murder mysteries....and who isn't?
3 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?