Yakuza Apocalypse ★★★½



Ben Sachs' argument that this is minor Miike carries water, but I kind of like it anyway. It has his daytime yakuza vibe, the same one that animates Ichi The Killer, another film Ben isn't super big on (understandably), and while I also agree that it isn't top-tier Miike, it's sort of crucial to understanding his daytime yakuza thing. There's the vast arrangement of bodies, Johnny Guitar-style. He loves that, and only does that in his wryly experimental films, of which this is a ripe example. There's a sort of silence kind of caked in dust or slightly damp from recent rain, and his characters kind of stay juuuuust above it in their conversations. No undue emphasis placed on anything, so that his zanier elements sort of slide in unnoticed. In this case the turtle spirit and the insane manga vampire with the coffin on his back. The frog suit is the straw that broke the tone's back, so to speak, so he has to draw attention to *that*, because he signals the third act and the end of the film. But unemphatic is kind of the order of the day, which is the mood Miike adopts when he's fucking around. Ben's also right when he says the emotional quotient is negligible at best, but I did kind of love the little love story, as tiny as it winds up being. Wish they'd given Yayan Ruhian more to do, but that's life.