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.
Ambitious yakuza Kenji befriends harmonica-playing bartender Chuji, who moonlights as a part-time drug-dealer for the opposing gang. Their friendship is threatened by Kenji's plans for ... See full summary »
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.
Japanese-Brazilian Mario and Chinese hairdresser Kei are lovers. Kei is about to be deported. He manages to escape. His plan is to get passports and stow away on a ship headed for a foreign country. With his girlfriend he tries to steal money from the mafia. Instead he gets cocaine which he sells. But Kei is captured by Yakuza and he must save her...Written by
Nowhere near as extreme and bizarre as 'Dead Or Alive' but much more satisfying for me.
The extraordinary movies of the astonishingly prolific Takashi Miike take most viewers quite a bit getting used to, so if you've never seen one of his difficult to categorize films before you're in for a wild ride! His best known movie is probably the modern horror classic 'Audition'. An utterly brilliant movie to be sure, but not really all that representative of the rest of his high octane genre-busting output. Many of his fans regard 'Dead Or Alive' as one of his greatest works, and while I certainly agree it is one of the most extraordinary and original movies released in recent years, it was way too uneven for my liking and marred by one of the most ludicrous endings I've ever seen. 'City Of Lost Souls' is a much less bizarre and extreme experience than 'DOA'. It reaches neither the highs of that movie, nor the lows, and therefore is probably as good a place as any to get into Miike's world, which is quite unlike any other let me tell you! The plot itself is a fairly standard lovers on the run thing that we've seen in countless movies before ('Bonnie And Clyde', 'The Getaway', 'Badlands', 'Wild At Heart', 'True Romance',etc.etc.) but with Miike "plot" is basically just an excuse for messing with the audience's mind and expectations. The multi-racial nature of the cast and the seemingly random and sometimes confusing geographic settings help disorientate the viewer, which allows Miike to slip in some memorable set pieces and images. One in particular, the chicken fighting scene, had me literally speechless, and is one of the funniest and most unexpected sequences I've ever seen. But still, unlike 'DOA', Miike never goes too far into sheer silliness, and that makes 'City Of Lost Souls' are much more consistent and enjoyable experience for me. Maybe if I'd watched this movie first then worked my way up to 'DOA' my reaction to the latter would be more positive, who can say? I would definitely recommend Miike novices to watch this one first before they explore his more outrageous movies. Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore Takashi Miike, a film maker who makes overrated fanboy faves like David Fincher and Guy Ritchie look like the slow kids in the back of the class.
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