Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Opening Friday in the US in theaters and VOD platforms is th latest from Takashi Miike. It just may be the most violent and deranged film to come from Miike. Certainly he hasn't turned out anything quite like this in a few years (at least in the films that I've run across-I'm behind on a bunch of his recent films). I'm hard pressed to know if the insanity makes the film worth watching. Probably not.

The film concerns what happens when a feared and supposedly unkillable Yakuza boss gets ultimatum from the international gang he once belonged to- rejoin or die. When he refuses a group of killers arrives to put the vampire (yes he's a vampire) down. Before he dies he has just enough strength that he turns his favorite underling into a vampire as well, The new vampire then sets off to avenge his boss. And then things get weird.

I should point out that I'm keeping the description simple because its so out there and off the rails that I'm not completely sure what the hell I just saw. I suspect I could get a synopsis from the internet, but I'm not sure that would help much.

Takashii Miike has made roughly 100 films in the last 25 years. Thats an average of four a year. He's done everything from musicals, to kids films, to action films, to yakuza films to horror to...he's just about done it all.  He is one of the most creative forces in film today and pretty much any film lover worth their salt should have him on their lists of favorite and  greatest film directors. While he has made some truly great films, his 13 ASSASSINS is to me one of the top five or ten greatest films ever made (no seriously it is), he has also made films that made you scratch your head and wonder what he was thinking. Some of his early films have pieces that are very good, but either have pacing problems or just ramble into nothingness.

YAKUZA APOCALYPSE is one of the weaker films, if not his weakest. The film has some of the greatest action sequences he's ever produced but at the same time the film goes on at least an half an hour too long, has too much going on, isn't particularly funny, is really boring- and what the hell is the deal with the furry frog suit?

I have no idea what to say about the film. I love the action, I like the idea, but the way it plays out really isn't funny or watchable.

Should you see the film? If you like great action you may want to give it ago where you can scan through the dull parts. If you're a fan of Miike's you may want to see it to see one of his real misses. Everyone else may want to skip it because it's just not that good even with a frog suited crime boss as a villain.

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