add tag

Tags you are adding:

TIFF 2015 Movie Review - Yakuza Apocalypse

Where do I start with this Yakuza Apocalypse? It’s a movie that promised gangsters, along with vampires, monsters, volcanoes, earthquakes, and even a Yakuza knitting circle. All from prolific and controversial Japanese director, Takashi Miike.

The film starts promisingly enough, as local mob boss Kamiura, played by Lily Franky, slices his way through a Yakuza stronghold with a sword, in a bloody sequence where no blade nor bullet can seem to kill him. But the town loves this Yakuza boss, because he doesn't believe in harming civilians, and even goes out of his way to help them in times of need.

One of his underlings, Kagayama (Hayato Ichihara), looks up to his boss and one day hopes to be just like him. Unfortunately, he learns the truth that his boss is actually a vampire, after being dispatched by a gunslinger dressed as a priest. This priest-gunslinger is from the “syndicate,” and carries an electricity-gun in a miniature coffin strapped to his back. Before Kamiura dies, he passes on his vampiric abilities to underling Kagayama, who wants revenge.

This is the point at which the film falls completely apart. Being a Miike film, you expect some amount of strangeness, which this film also employs, but the fight scenes become so repetitive, and the narrative becomes so nonsensical, that the entire film just falls apart from there.

There is one fight in which the two opponents just punch each other in the face at the same time over and over again, for what felt like hours.

The film starts introducing all kinds of useless characters and half-baked ideas, which it then proceeds to drop. One character utters, “Subtract stupid from Yakuza and you have nothing left," while another has her brain leaking out of her ears. That’s kind of how I felt watching this film.

In the end, all I wanted was for the film to just stop which, thankfully, it did. Literally. It didn’t end, it stopped just shy of the apocalypse part promised in the title of the movie, and I was grateful I didn’t have to sit through it. I have never been so bored watching bizarre creatures, bloody fights and absurd concepts as I was while watchingYakuza Apocalypse.

1.5 out of 5 stars.

Image: Samuel Goldwyn & Entertainment One

Here's the NSFW (sort of) trailer: