Certainly a low point in Miike's up-and-down career. It does offer some up some campy humour and homage, but this does not a good movie make (take note, Tarantino). Ultimately, confusing and forgettable.
This should have been awesome, but it isn't. It's awkwardly constructed and just boring. Miike is a director of supreme creativity, but he falls flat here. The film is too much pastiche and not enough meat. For a similar type of movie that executes the idea of an eastern Western better check out The Good, the Bad, the Weird.
Big disappointment. I rented this with excitement, anticipating the visually stunning cinematography, surreal imagery, and compelling storyline. Unfortunately, the latter is exactly where SWD fails. Miike is too often willing to sacrifice story for shock value, and while there were elements of the film that warranted attention, in the end, I felt worn out. Tarantino is a crappy actor, by the way.
Just to keep this clear, this is an unofficial prequel/remake of Django, the giallo version of A Fistful of Dollars, which was the Spaghetti Western Yojimbo, the Japanese ronin story inspired to some degree by the War of the Roses, as referenced by Shakespeare in the Henry VI play quoted in this movie. That, my friends, is what you call "pastiche." Also it's a lot of fun. --PolarisDiB
Like sake-chianti or spring rolls bolognese? Try this ...if your guts can take it ...
Le chef japonais MIIKE nous avait concocté 2 délicieux "3 Extremes" et "God's Puzzle". Hélàs, dans cet hommage au western spaghetti, la lenteur hiératique des chorégraphies de l'Ouest s’accommode mal à l'hystérique agitation des films de sabre. Les dialogues "pidgin English" n'arrangent rien et rendent ce western nouilles indigeste.
I liked it for its pop (or better: pulp) cultural hommage to Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci. The movie contains really a lot of citations, also references using music and sound like Ennio Morricone. And - of course - there are a lot of allusions to Shakespeare’s historical plays: not only the "prologue on the theatre" but also the very bloody fighting scenes.
Ludicrous plot setup coupled with some horrendous engrish makes for one terrible film. In this case bad = good, it was probably the most fun I had watching a film in a long while. In comparison, I rank this higher then the more recent "Good, The Bad, & The Wierd".