Yakuza Apocalypse has it all: yakuza vampires, a frog man, a giant frog man, men w/duck bills & tortoise backs, a woman with a slowly-melting brain, vampire hunters, suicidal kids, sweatshop yakuza who knit to repent, an expert martial artist tourist, & a whole lot more. It's made w/self-awareness & a scathing grasp of satire other films can only dream of. It's films like this that make cinema special.
FNC '15 Miike attempts to re-discover the spirit of his early films with this lunatic return to the world of yakuza, vampires and giant mascots! Unfortunately the kitchen sink approach fails to dazzle this time around despite having a few good chuckles here and there. Sion Sono's 'Why Don't You Play in Hell' offers better example of how to pull this demented mix off. Mikke, ever prolific, fails on this excursion.
Prolific filmmaker Takashi Miike pulls out a tedious finale, in an ignominious head-to-head fighting sequence that determines which fighter punches harder and screams louder than the other one (1.5 stars)
Extremely fun. Pretty exhausting. Some Miike films are brilliant. There is, however, a difference between brilliant and just basically finding, over and over, ridiculous ways to be hilarious that have not quite hitherto been discovered. Like a great deal of Japanese comedy, Yakuza Apocalypse feels like it has been built around a brainstorming session that got way out of hand. Lots of laughs, often inspires awe.
This is far too long, it's a slog to get through the first 20 min. From there, the moments of "reflection" really distract the audience from reveling in the absurdity. Still there are some magical moments here, everyone seems to be really game. Really hate to compare to another filmmaker, but it never reachers the delirious heights of Sono's 'Tokyo Tribe'
Once the kung-fu frog-suit furry shows up, this is pretty good. Until then, Takashi Miike serves up faux-outrageousness designed to elicit forced laughter and Freshman giggles. So the question is: How patient are you?
The weirdness grandmaster turns it up to 11 and graces us all with the most amazing wtf movie of the last 5 years. Yes, the pace is slow, but that's Miike for you. God blessed us with this mindfuck, let us feast on it.