Deadly Outlaw: Rekka

Deadly Outlaw: Rekkaaka Jitsuroku Andô Noboru kyôdô-den: Rekka
Japan, 2002
Starring: Riki Takeuchi, Sonny Chiba, Miho Nomoto, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi, Miki Katsumura
Director: Takashi Miike
IMDB: 6.6

Another entry in the Miike yakuza pantheon, this one has many familiar faces and an all-round stellar cast. Rubber-faced Riki Takeuchi stars as the yakuza hothead Kunisada - the "deadly outlaw" of the title, and will be familiar to Miike fans from the Dead Or Alive trilogy, Kikoku, and Fudoh. You may also recognise the legendary Sonny Chiba, recently seen in Kill Bill. But the supporting cast are uniformly excellent as well, although maybe not so familiar to western viewers.

And its not all hard-ass Yakuza types either. The guys are joined by two 'Korean' gals Myung Hyung (J-Idol Miki Katsumura) and Sung Lee (the gorgeous Miho Nomoto) - who is the object of one of the film's more memorable lines, "I can't live without you anymore ... especially your pussy." Hah, now there's some honesty for you.

The film opens in typical Miike style, similar to the adrenalised opening sequence of DOA 1 - all action, guns and hard rock soundtrack. Kunisada's father gets wiped out, and this gets him well pissed ... in fact filled with burning fire (rekka) for revenge. But political manoeuvrings are afoot in the yakuza underworld, and the powers that be are not so keen for him to start a war.

Kunisada doesn't give a fuck, and proceeds to exact his revenge nonetheless. Because Kunisada is badass.

This is not as 'out there' as some of Takashi Miike's films, but it certainly carries his signature style. We have the offbeat humour, pounding soundtrack, outrageous stunts - and all set in the seedier side-streets of Shinjuku, Tokyo. It also features tinges of his usual sexual perversity, explicit gore and ultra-violence - albeit in a slightly more toned down version than some of his other offerings.

But first and foremost this is a very competent yakuza action/drama flick. The Miike 'shock tactics' are just cream on the top.

Don't go into this expecting something ultra-weird like Visitor Q or Gozu and you will be well pleased with this offbeat but solid Yakuza tale with strong performances all round.

Rock'n Roll.

Twisted rating: 8/10

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1 comment:

SmokeG said...

Violence, sex jokes, Sonny Chiba, Takashi Miike. More than enough reasons to enjoy it. I think I'm gonna watch it soon.

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