Survive Style 5+

Japan, 2004
Director: Gen Sekiguchi
Starring: Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Ittoku Kishibe, Vinnie Jones
IMDB: 7.9

Its Japanese, its surreal, it stars Asano Tadanobu (Ichi the Killer), and its great. If you need to know more, read on.

The movie starts off on a comedic note with some good old sadistic violence (fans of Evil Dead II etc will not consider this an oxymoron), and the laughs rarely let up for the duration.

Asano plays a man (called Aman!) who has no purpose in life. Except, it seems, trying to get rid of his wife in various brutal ways. Trouble is she won't stay buried. Initially its not easy to understand why he wants to get rid of her, after all his wife is played by Japanese supermodel Reika Hashimoto, and she cooks him nice breakfasts to boot. Ungrateful bastard.


Then there's salaryman Kobayashi (Ittoku), seemingly the modicum of Japanese decorum in his suit and tie, who has a penchant for family sing-alongs to explicit american punk rock.

We also meet Aoyama the hypnotist, Yoko the creative ad exec, a team of sexually-ambiguous cat burglars, and a contract killer from London (played in English by Vinnie Jones).


Once the characters are introduced in separate storylines, they creatively converge for the final scene. Along the way however, much hilarity ensues in a film jam-packed with creativity that goes out of its way to be strange. Some of the jokes fell a little flat for me, chiefly Vinnie Jones' character and the cat burglars, but there's more than enough gold here to make this Highly Recommended.


Story: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10
Weirdness: 9/10

Overall: 8.0/10. A well made, visually inventive comedy that will please fans of the absurd and quirky Japanese cinema.



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