In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among...
See full summary »
In an attempt to colonize Mars, 21st century scientists seed the planet with algae to absorb sun light and purify the atmosphere, and cockroaches who in turn spread the algae as they feed. ... See full summary »
A star, Miyuki Goto (Ko Shibasaki) plays Oiwa, the protagonist in a new play based on the ghost story Yotsuya Kaidan. She pulls some strings to get her lover, Kosuke Hasegawa (Ebizo ... See full summary »
Reiji Kikukawa, who has a strong sense of justice, graduated from the police academy with the lowest score ever. He becomes a police constable, but is suddenly fired by the Police Chief due... 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.
Manji, a highly skilled samurai, becomes cursed with immortality after a legendary battle. Haunted by the brutal murder of his sister, Manji knows that only fighting evil will regain his soul. He promises to help a young girl named Rin avenge her parents, who were killed by a group of master swordsmen led by ruthless warrior Anotsu. The mission will change Manji in ways he could never imagine - ... See full summary »
An environmental analyst is asked by the police to determine if two deaths by hydrogen sulfide poisoning are an accident - or a murder. But when he meets a young woman at both sites, a scientific mystery begins.
Raita, a Japanese businessman, just moved into an apartment building where his next-door neighbor is another guy named Raita. But as a private detective, what that other Raita does couldn't... See full summary »
In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among Kamiura's gang is Kageyama, his most loyal underling. However, the others in the gang view Kageyama with disdain and ridicule him for his inability to get tattooed due to sensitive skin. One day, assassins aware of boss Kamiura's secret arrive from abroad and deliver him an ultimatum: Return to the international syndicate he left years ago, or die. Kamiura refuses and, during a fierce battle with anime-otaku martial-arts expert Kyoken, is torn limb from limb. With his dying breath, Kamiura bites Kageyama, passing on his vampire powers to the unsuspecting yakuza. As he begins to awaken to his newfound abilities, Kageyama's desire to avenge the murder of boss Kamiura sets him on a course for a violent confrontation with Kaeru-kun, the foreign syndicate's mysterious and seemingly unstoppable leader!
The joy of Yakuza Apocalypse is that it's Takashi Miike doing that Takashi Miike does, what he has done, since the 90's and yet it's a filmmaker even more confident in his skills and more assured in the timing of his shots and cuts. Thinking back to another gonzo-Yakuza movie like Dead or Alive or even Ichi the Killer, he reveled in more of a sloppy, throw-lots-of-WILD-things-at-the-wall approach to his compositions and how he would cut, but now he's gone through films like 13 Assassins and Hara-Kiri, where he found a way to balance action and a more (what's the damn word here) patient way to get the audience into the drama. And yes, drama may sound strange in a movie that could also be called YAKUZA VAMPIRE SHOWDOWN and be entirely accurate. But it is a joy as a fan to see Miike in full command of his powers as the truest Gonzo filmmaker in the world. Does it mean he's the best? I dunno.
All I do know is that in Yakuza Apocalypse, if you're on board for the kind of insanity as far as action set pieces, characters, and plot turns that Miike has done in his career - the kind of 'don't give a f***ery' that has made him a household name for cult film enthusiasts - you get things like... a man in a green frog suit who can do martial arts to such a point where Bruce Lee runs for the hills, a duck-billed... man, no, really, he has duck bills in his mouth (and refers to this green-frog-suited man as "the world's most dangerous terrorist"), and, of course Yakuza vampires. How our hero, a young Yakuza who just has always wanted to do right by his boss - and that his boss gets his ass kicked and head chopped off by a rival looking to take over (you can tell since he speaks English and has like a Shakespeare-style neck collar, and his own bad-ass kung-fu fighter that can kick anyone into oblivion), gets turned and then makes others vampires.... well, you have to see it for yourself.
I think the biggest knock I had against this, at least during the first half, was that it is too long. At 115 minutes I'm sure where are scenes here or there that could have been cut, things involving some of the lower-rung Yakuza gangster men (the ones who, you know, are especially idiots but loyal and tough Yakuza guys, they more or less last until the climax too), and made it a little tighter. At the same time, I'm not sure looking back I'd want Miike to close and bottle up his full Miike-ness from the audience. By the time he and his writers go into action over-drive, which involves the entirety of this whole small... town, village, whatever you call it (there are also Western influences that are impossible to miss involving showdowns in the street and shots aping such things), it becomes one of the director's high points of a long career.
He and especially all of the insane stunt performers, who are fighting in such intense set pieces and choreography that I almost felt bad for them, but just almost (that poor guy in the frog suit, what he must've gone through) give it their all, up until the final frames where I threw up my hands going, "SURE?! WHY NOT!!??!"
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this