Here Tsukamoto comes of cinematic age. Like his other films, the characters are naturally unattuned with their bodies (the end's beautiful montage is the equivalent of a sadomasochistic circle-jerk). But this film has deeper subtext: the love triangle allows for an exploration into the possessive nature of sex, then the liberation of the body -- and thus has a bit of underlying proto-feminism.
I enjoyed this film's style and atmosphere, some very cool shots. Great cast and performances. The film is brutal, filled with impressive fighting scenes. Watching this film I felt like it's more about a fight in the society, trying to find our own place in it. It's a film about our limitations, frustrations, desires and how they can crush us... The relations between the three main characters are a bit confusing.
Didn't see the connection with Fight Club other than the high-stakes fighting. The interesting thing about this movie was how all three characters are trying to stop one another from turning into something else, and then, mad on bloodlust, egg each other on at the same time. The storyline with the murdered girl emotionally flat and a bit pointless, but the three-way relationship and the violence pack a punch.
Infantile plot that does not dig deep enough into the concepts of primal instincts and human alienation, instead it explicitly revolves around the idea that men have to literally fight like cavemen to preserve their status without any hint of the roots for this primal behavior. Gory flashes and histrionic acting lower the standards of the film. Intriguing, unrefined and often out-of-control cinematography.
This came terribly close to being a 2-star film, but for 3 things: the blood geysers, a few brilliant scenes (first and foremost, the phone call/"Don't have sex with her" scene), and some genuinely unexpected plot turns (especially as regards the female character, Hizuru). Still, I'd recommend it be watched with a friend with a sense of humour, as I did, as an antidote to the film's more tedious aspects!