Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive

5.0 1
Director: Takashi Miike

Cast: Riki Takeuchi, Sho Aikawa, Renji Ishibashi

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Takashi Miike takes a dime-a-dozen yakuza script and turns it inside out in this high-octane surrealist crime action thriller. The film's first ten minutes is a breathless montage depicting a naked woman clutching a bag of cocaine being thrown off a high-rise, a porcine Chinese gangster devouring bowl after bowl of noodles before getting whacked, a tinsel-wigged… See more details below

Overview

Takashi Miike takes a dime-a-dozen yakuza script and turns it inside out in this high-octane surrealist crime action thriller. The film's first ten minutes is a breathless montage depicting a naked woman clutching a bag of cocaine being thrown off a high-rise, a porcine Chinese gangster devouring bowl after bowl of noodles before getting whacked, a tinsel-wigged stripper in mid-grind, another Chinese gangster having sex with a guy in a pubic bathroom, clowns throwing knives, and the world's longest cocaine line. Welcome to planet Miike -- one that seems unnervingly like reality but just tweaked enough that the viewer believes almost anything can (and does) happen. What follows is a tale pitting narcotics cop Jojima (Sho Aikawa), who has an ailing daughter and a neglected wife, against Ryuichi (Riki Takeuchi), a Chinese-born gangster sporting a hairstyle that would make Wayne Newton jealous. As Ryuichi tries to muscle in on a big drug haul from Taiwan, those closest to him get killed -- particularly his whey-faced younger brother and girlfriend (the latter meets a particularly grizzly end at the hands of a sadistic scat-enthusiast yakuza). Likewise, Jojima, who is on Ryuichi's tail, looses his partner, his wife, and his daughter. Soon the two are on the road to a literally cataclysmic confrontation.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jonathan Crow
The first ten minutes of Dead or Alive will leave you agog, and the last ten will rearrange your head. Originally written as separate scenes designed to set up the film, Miike -- in an act of sheer cinematic bravura -- collapses them together into a hallucinogenic music video of sorts inventing a new way of storytelling that masterfully sets up the film's perverse, unhinged world. In fact, the viewer gets the distinct feeling that one is watching a trailer to the film; there simply couldn't be more to the film than what is in this opening. But there is a lot more. The less said about the film's ending the better, but it left more than one viewer confused. The film's middle, lacking the flash of the beginning and end might seem to drag a bit in comparison, but Miike populates the film with lurid details that keep it interesting. In one scene, Jojima, looking for clues, is talking to one of his underworld connections, who is busily trying to sexually excite a dog for a bestiality photo shoot. In another, Jojima grills a thug sporting a ludicrously large afro. As Miike gleefully undercuts taboos of polite society, a second theme rises to the fore -- the discrimination of non-Japanese Asians living in Japan. At one point, the afro-ed thug argues that Ryuichi is a hero among all non-Japanese working in the underworld because he's willing to take all the societal alienation and estrangement and force it down the throats of the Japanese yakuza. Aside from the dizzying, genre-bending cinematic exploits, the film's sharp and intelligent dissecting of Japanese society makes Dead or Alive a truly fascinating, memorable film.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2003
UPC:
0738329043230
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Kino Video

Cast & Crew

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >