Sight and Sound - 10/01/2002
"...It demonstrates enough flair and grotesque wit to make for very enjoyable viewing..."
After a rapid-fire montage of two groups of gangsters, one Japanese, the other ethnic Chinese, killing each other and everybody else on screen, DEAD OR ALIVE's story begins when a police officer announces, "Round up everybody who looks (suspicious), even if they aren't Chinese." The Chinese have been living in Japan for centuries, but have never been accepted or integrated into Japanese society. This larger conflict underlies the blood and gore of the two gangs vying to make a big drug purchase from a mainland Chinese gang. When Jojima (Show Aikawa) an otherwise honest cop, needs money for an operation for his daughter, he gets a "loan" from the head of the Japanese gang, but when his partner kills the brother of the leader of the Chinese mafia, Ryuichi (Riki Rakeuchi), a blood feud begins between the two men.
DEAD OR ALIVE's fast-paced cinematic presentation, black humor, tongue-in-cheek satire, and misogynist sadism set it apart from similar films by Takeshi Kitano. Director Takashi Miike's earlier film, AUDITION, is known for its stunning ending, but here he builds up to a parody of the big showdown that is so hysterically comic that, borrowing from Monty Python and DR. STRANGELOVE, it reaches absolutely apocalyptic proportions.
Prostitutes / Whores |
Scantily Clad Women |
Theatrical Release |
Urban Crime |
Urban Life |