Friday, 18 March 2016

REVIEW - YAKUZA APOCALYPSE (MIIKE TAKASHI)


Miike Takashi appears to abandon all semblance of traditional technique in what may actually be among his most technically accomplished films to date. Yakuza Apocalypse is everything it promises to be, and yet so much less - not necessarily in effect, but instead in style. Miike is astute and restrained in his deployment of the myriad genres he mashes together here, that when they launch their irresistible lure upon him, he willfully succumbs and allows them to take over his better instincts. His sense serves his sensibilities well, though its immediate appeal is diluted by the lack of time he assigns to it, despite no lack of effort; his wild creativity is largely fuelled by immediate appeal alone, and Miike's craft in constructing the more outrageous aspects of a truly outrageous film perhaps even conquers that in its quieter moments. And so Yakuza Apocalypse is a most contradictory film, and fittingly so, given the recklessness with which this plethora of styles is strung together. Its patience is admirable, its energy affable; their juxtaposition at once enhances each element and deflates its impact. That energy doesn't abate even as the runtime extends ever further, though yours might just, and the usual qualms around gender politics that come with most genre filmmaking are present and incorrect - this is a brazenly unpolished film, and integrally so. But its unyielding commitment to silliness, and its willingness to make full usage of this attribute at all times and at any cost, makes Yakuza Apocalypse well worth the watch.