Film #32: YAKUZA APOCALYPSE
3 out of 5 stars
Full disclosure: I am a HUGE Takashi Miike fan; so much so that I’ve seen nearly all of his filmography. After having some arthouse hits with the remake of HARA KIRI and his ode to chanbara, 13 ASSASSINS, Miike returns to what made him famous – over the top splash shows. More akin to things like ICHI THE KILLER and VISITOR Q, YAKUZA APOCALYPSE seems almost directly influenced by the recent output of Japanese studios like Sushi Typhoon. The plot is a little hard to follow and parts seem stitched on for no apparent reason. The acting is pure Yakuza film bluster. So, by the time the martial artist in a frog suit appears, you’re either on-board or you’re not. Me, I quite enjoyed the frenetic and , at times, incomprehensible mayhem. In the end, YAKUZA APOCALYPSE is far from Miike’s best film. Heck, it’s not even close. But… the film is enjoyable, weird, and just crazy enough as to be endearing. Keep an eye out for THE RAID’s Yayan Ruhian in a pivotal (and ass-kicking) role.