A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.
** (out of 4)
Quentin Tarantino in a Takashi Miike homage to Spaghetti Westerns is going to be enough to get a few curious people to watch but I must rip off a few reviews I've read, which called this film different but not very entertaining. In what's basically a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, a mysterious gunfighter (Ito Hideaki) with no name shows up and plays two rival gangs against one another. If someone was to call this the greatest movie ever made I honestly wouldn't argue with them. I'm sure many are going to watch this film and consider it a masterpiece and I would respect their opinion just about as much as I respect Miike for trying something like this. However, the movie just didn't work for me. This is basically an incredibly bizarre homage to countless Westerns done in a way that Tarantino pays homage to various genres in this country but I might go a step further and say Miike is much more original than Tarantino has ever been. I think this film, for what it is, is incredibly original and at times visually brilliant but as much credit as I give to Miike I have to give him just as much blame. For some reason he felt it would be a good idea to have the Japanese actors speak English, which was a deadly mistake. Sure, this adds a surreal nature to the film but the problem is that a lot of the times you can't understand what they're saying. This film is full of dialogue and when you can't understand a quarter of it then you're going to be in trouble. This also effects the performances as the spoken dialogue is just as bad as watching a dubbed Kurosawa film. As is to be expected, the movie is full of violence but most of it is done in a comical way and that includes one man getting shot up while his wife holds his dying body. Tarantino doesn't add too much to the film either. In the end this is a film I highly respect but there's just no way I will ever find myself watching it again.
- Nov 14, 2008