Saturday, May 23, 2009
Day 109: Full Metal Yakuza (1997) - Rank 3/5
To watch "Full Metal Yakuza," it's quite obvious that Takashi Miike, a Japanese director infamous for excess beyond excess when it comes to gore, sexual peversion and disturbing imagery, was testing the waters. This tongue-in-cheek tribute to Verhoeven's "Robocop" has its fair share of both violence and bizarre sexual content. But it's never outlandish as is characteristic of his later films. In fact, the overall film is presented in a manner that borders on teh cartoonish at times. As a result, i didn't find this film emblazioned upon my mind as "Audition" or "Visitor Q" were, leaving me forever wondering, "What the fuck did I just watch?" Instead, its straightforward and borderline formulaic on some levels, which earmarks it as early Miike.
Sadly, as a result of this, I found the film rather forgettable, whereas some of his other films I wish I could get out of my head. That's not to say that the film was intolerable, or even unenjoyable. It was an entertaining watch, and there were some scenes, such as the revelation that the full metal yakuza - Kensuke Hagane - possessed a robotic penis capable of pleasuring any female, that I found pretty hilarious. And the action sequences, while grisly at times, also seemed indicative that Miike had not directed many scenes of choreographed fighting prior, for I had trouble figuring out what was happening at times (unlike Ridley Scott, who has shot so many action sequences that he's learned how to cheat the audience by using quick cuts and shaky camera moves, leaving you still wondering what's happening). But, admittedly, it is hard to go back to a director's early films after he's set the bar so much higher in his later projects. I suppose had I seen this film upon its release, it would have struck me as more unique or unusual. Alas, I cannot go back in time, though. Or can I...?
Watch the Trailer