Takashi Miike has a reputation for dark, violent films. So it was a surprise when he announced he would be adapting a light-hearted Nintendo game (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney). But he proves capable of pulling this off. A funny, comic-strip-like, charming film.
Takashi Miike made a film adaptation of the popular Nintendo game Ace Attorney, about the young, rather clumsy lawyer Phoenix Wright, who was also the protagonist of the first three Capcom games. Wright, assisted by old school friends Miles Edgeworth and Larry Butz, has to win several court cases in this story in order to solve a 15-year-old mystery.
Among all the comedy and sci-fi gadgets of the lawyers, the film provides a caricature of the show-business character of Japanese law. Through the immense pressure on the legal system, in the near future of Ace Attorney a case will only be allowed to last three days before the judge takes a decision. Under the enormous pressure of time, it is increasingly important for lawyers to intimidate the other party and give a smooth presentation, even though they say that success is determined by strong evidence. Miike’s typical cartoon style, combined with dynamic game visuals, results in a playful crossover between live-action, game and manga.
A highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker, Takashi MIIKE was born on August 24, 1960 in Yao, Osaka, Japan. Under the guidance of renowned filmmaker Shohei IMAMURA (a two-time Palme d’Or winner at Cannes), Miike graduated from the Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film.
Miike’s first films were television productions, but he also began directing several high-quality direct-to-video releases. His theatrical debut came in 1995 with Shinjuku Triad Society, and its success gave him the freedom to work on more ambitious projects. One of the most successful Japanese directors currently working, he has also garnered a strong cult following in the West that is growing rapidly as more of his films become available in translated form on DVD.
Some of Miike’s most popular films include Audition, the Dead or Alive trilogy, Ichi the Killer, Gozu, Izo, and Big Bang Love, Juvenile A.
Miike has achieved international notoriety for depicting shocking scenes… read more
Miike, the drug you always come back to. This just upstaged two wonderful films by masters Terrence Davies and Miguel Gomes this year. Why? It is just a videogame adaptation after all. Because, Miike is limitless cinema. He is the man of all skills in cinema, but is rarely content to confine one skill to one film; rather, he is the master juggler. This film is hilarious, moving, suspenseful, anything you need it to be. It is also formally breathless yet patient. You cannot predict Miike, he always shifts, yet he is most certainly his own auteur.
Miike perfects adaptation here, staying loyal while keeping to his usual playful reinvention and subversion. Miike's mastery of form is evident, especially with the incredible opening minutes, one particularly haunting death or easily the funniest moment in film this year. He eloquently expresses the empty grandeur of pursuing the 'truth', beset on all sides by liars, idiots and cut-throats.
A roundup of reviews, impressions and more from this year’s edition.
New work by Takashi Miike, Lav Diaz, James Benning and more.
Miike adds a video game adaptation to his wildly diverse oeuvre.