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Fantastic Fest '11! Muldoon Reviews YAKUZA WEAPON!


Muldoon Reviews YAKUZA WEAPON

It might be blasphemous to say I’m not really a fan of some of the more over the top films from Japan, like ROBOGEISHA or flicks like that. That said, tonight’s screening of YAKUZA WEAPON blew my face off with its awesomeness.

Since I tend to avoid the crazier violent Japanese movies that the Fantastic Fest programmers love so much, to say the movie was even a feint blip on my radar is an understatement. I actually tried to avoid seeing this flick, but by the time I was able to get tickets practically everything else was sold out. So once more I walked in with no expectations other than knowing I’d probably see some decapitations and people with bizarre shit coming out of their bodies and apparently the flick was based off of a popular comic book. In a sick way, even though I really don’t care for this genre in general the movie gods made sure I got my ass in to see this film.

I loved it. I ate it up. Co-directors Tak Sakaguchi and Yudai Tamaguchi kick the film off with a bang Zack Snyder would be envious of. The camera work, time remapping, skillfully choreographed ass kickings, and explosions might have been the most badass and well executed introduction of a character I’ve seen in quite some time. [TINY SPOILER: The guy’s such a badass, he steps on a landmine and lets it propel him hundreds of feet into the air like a boss.]

The film’s a tale of revenge, a prodigal son returning home to avenge the death of a loved one and killing hundreds (maybe even thousands) of crazy ass characters. Make no mistake; there are ludicrous amounts of incredibly inventive fighting involving all sorts of whip zooms, CG out the ass, digitally composited blood splats and muzzle flashes…  While that’s not quite my cup of tea, the film also delivers a healthy amount of straight up hand to hand combat that rivals anything I’ve seen from Tony Jaa, Donnie Yen, or Jet Li, all with a hearty serving of humor that only the Japanese can pull off. At one point, the film’s star, Tak Sakaguchi (also co-director) delivers four minutes of nonstop ass kicking in one long continuous take…

If you liked films like GI JOE, ROBOCOP, or PLANET TERROR, there’s a damn good chance you’ll get a kick out of YAKUZA WEAPON. I did. The mix of comedy, gore, action, and just an overall sense of “Holy shit, this is awesome” makes me think I might need to give ROBOGEISHA and the whole Japanese crazy gore-filled action fest genre another chance. YAKUZA WEAPON might just have made a believer out of me. Totally worth checking out.


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