Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Like a Dragon

The picture above is for the video-game that this movie is based on..but do not let that deter you, the director is Takeshi Miike! His movies are nearly comic books in the best sense of the word -- picture driven, graphic, lightning fast. I'm prettty sure the whole "storyboarding" business has more than passing commonalities..
I'm not sure Japanese Schoolgirls without socks would be labeled an innovation, but certainly the young foil in this film begs the question! "Like a Dragon" no doubt references Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon," and, as such has a lot of kung-fu on display, sans Yuen Woo Ping. How many other choreographers can I name? Have you not read my review of "City of Violence?!"
One of my favorite recent Yakuza Characters was "Big D" from Johnnie To's outstanding "Election". Big D tore up the screen with his flamboyance, boasting, and a sadistic streak on full display via brutal acts of ultraviolence. He didn't have Majima's bat! Majima is the pirate patch wearing over the top crazy bastard..and Miike spells over the top with 2 eyes!
Kazuma is the good guy here, and quite a fighter. These sequences fall under the new term, mixed martial arts..though I can't seem to recall the Japanese Character for "shotgun".
All this being said, this is a gentler Miike film than even "Blue's Harp", and might be a good intro film, perhaps better than "City of Lost Souls".

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