6.2/10
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73 user 117 critic

Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

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2:00 | Trailer
A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

Director:

Takashi Miike
4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hideaki Itô ... Gunman
Masanobu Andô ... Yoichi
Kôichi Satô ... Taira no Kiyomori
Kaori Momoi ... Ruriko
Yûsuke Iseya ... Minamoto no Yoshitsune
Renji Ishibashi ... Village Mayor
Yoshino Kimura ... Shizuka
Quentin Tarantino ... Piringo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takaaki Ishibashi ... Benkei
Teruyuki Kagawa ... Sheriff
Taigi Kobayashi Taigi Kobayashi
Yutaka Matsushige
Toshiyuki Nishida Toshiyuki Nishida
Shun Oguri ... Akira
Masato Sakai Masato Sakai ... Taira no Shigemori
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Storyline

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. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Who will be the last man standing? See more »

Genres:

Action | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, including a rape | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Düello See more »

Filming Locations:

Tsuruoka City, Yamagata, Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,856, 31 August 2008

Gross USA:

$50,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,725,258
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (international cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on characters created by Sergio Corbucci. See more »

Goofs

Right before the end-fight it starts to snow heavily for some reason, probably just for aesthetics. However, a thick blanket of snow covers everything except the chest filled with gold-nuggets. No snow seems to have fallen on the chest at all. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ringo: [shoots a snake out of the claws of a flying hawk and cuts egg out of it]
Cowboy: [draws his gun on Piringo and whistles appreciatively]
Boss: Piringo. Been looking for you. It's the end of the road for you.
Boss: [gong] What's that sound?
Ringo: That's the sound of the Gion Shoja temple bells.
Boss: What?
Ringo: You know, those Heike and Genji boys. On a distant island, these to clans split into the Reds and the Whites. Waged a war. Sort of like that, uh, War of the Roses, ya know? In England?
Boss: Who won? The Whites?
Ringo: This ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The international cut version, shorter by 23 minutes, omits several scenes for pacing reasons and also all the scenes where the big Genji/Minamoto henchman after having his balls shot off develops a crush for his leader Yoshitsune. This version was screened at several film festivals and is featured on most of the DVD releases outside of Japan. See more »

Connections

References Akira (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A fistful of ramen - an interesting but not entirely successful east-meets-west experiment
19 November 2008 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

Although it has the deceptive appearance of one and has been championed as such by many reviewers, Sukiyaki is not quite as much a spaghetti western love letter like, say, Alex De La Iglesias' 800 BALAS as it is a typically Miike-ian reinterpretation of the genre that borrows from both chambara and spaghetti western yet subscribes to neither. It's much less a remake or reimagining of Sergio Corbucci's original DJANGO, not a prequel, sequel or in any other way narratively connected to the original or the gazillion unofficial cash-ins small-time Italian producers with dollar signs gleaming in their eyes feverishly churned out in its wake.

What first screams for our attention is the kind of east-meets-west melting pot Miike has prepared for our enjoyment. A signpost on the lone gunman's way reads 'Nevada', the actors speak English with heavy and grating Japanese accents, some of them bear katanas and most others six shooters, the shabby ghost town the movie takes place in is distinctly Japanese in its architecture yet ornamented with dead men hanging from the town gate in typical 'far west' fashion, there's a sheriff, short blurbs about samurais, rumors of hidden treasure and a gold rush explained in a flashback.

However Miike is not attempting what many other directors have tried to in the past, that is to transpose occidental concepts, their mentality or filmic tradition to the oriental or the other way around. This is no RED SUN, EAST MEETS WEST, THE MASTER GUNFIGHTER or A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS to name but a few. What he tries and largely succeeds in creating is this alternative 'far west', a grotesque, exaggerated caricature of the American frontier myth seen through Japanese eyes.

A seamless melding of western and chambara that takes place in a distinctly imagined location. In Miike's vision of the genre west, the (historical naval) battle of Dannoura between the Genji and the Heike takes place close to Quentin Tarantino dressed in a poncho playing a gunfighter called Ringo and is followed a couple hundred years later by a signpost that reads Nevada and the Genji and Heike still split into warring factions. If a country had to be named as the setting for Sukiyaki it would be the United States of Nippon – in Sukiyaki's universe, there never was any Japan or America to begin with. A sort of RETCON or 'Retroactive Continuity' as it is known is taking place here. Fans of comic books will be familiar with the myth-making idea here.

It's a damn shame then that a movie as conceptually and aesthetically ambitious as Sukiyaki is let down by a terrible script, Miike's ill-advised decision to have all his actors mumble their way through their lines in distracting Engrish and the pace-clogging inclusion of at least thirty minutes of dead running time that should have been mercifully left to die at the cutting room floor.

There are scenes that don't work at all (such as the unnecessary dance scene) and there are scenes that outstay their welcome by a good number of minutes. And they're all strung together in a painfully mediocre pastiche of a script carrying with it a confused and incongruous mood that can't decide whether it wants to be taken serious, laughed at or laughed with. Quasi-philosophical blurbs are married with ill-advised slapstick nonsense, fortune cookie nuggets of wisdom with lame flashbacks and cartoon-esquire action. There's something for everyone here and everything pushing in different directions at once. On one hand Miike seems to go for an air of sentimental and meaningful profundity while at the same time indulging his nuttier side.

The good in Sukiyaki come in the form of a commendable visual attention to detail and beautiful lighting, the blistering action and the comic book vibe he goes for that recalls the days of FUDOH and DEAD OR ALIVE. While not without the macabre touches we've come to expect from him, Sukiyaki is a decidedly commercial action picture, one that will ironically appeal more to Tarantino and Rodriguez fans than devoted spaghetti western or chambara afficionados.

Perhaps emphasizing that last part, Tarantino has a short role as gunfighter extraordinaire Ringo. In the opening scene that supposedly takes place concomitant with the Battle of Dannoura he whacks pistolero-style three badly dressed goons and mouths off a couple of one-liners.

The scene is amusing at best but he has the show stole from right under his nose by the beautiful and intriguing set design and painted backdrops that recreate an oddly poetic and intentionally artificial rendition of the old west, perhaps recalling the dream sequence Akira Kurosawa created for Tatsuya Nakadai to stagger his way through in KAGEMUSHA or the similarly evocative painted sunsets of DODESUKADEN. I wish Miike had returned to that technique again later in the movie. Instead he uses a short anime passage that recalls KILL BILL. The final showdown in the snow is among the highlights of the movie and so is the appearance of a certain coffin and its contents that will have DJANGO fans nodding in approval.


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