Yakuza Weapon

 

Yakuza Weapon

[aka: Gokudo heiki]

Based on the Manga by Ken Ishikawa

Written by Tak Sakaguchi & Yûdai Yamaguchi

Production Design by Nori Fukuda

Photography by Masakazu Oka

Music: Nobuhiko Morino

Produced by Yoshinori Chiba, Syuichi Takashino & Toshiki Kumra

Directed by Tak Sakaguchi & Yûdai Yamaguchi

2011

 

Cast:

Shingo Tsurumi

Mei Kurokawa

Takashi Nishina

Akihiko Sai

Arata Yamanaka

Ayano Washizu

Hyonmyon Pe

Cay Izumi

Akaji Maro

Dennis Gunn

 

Production:

Theatrical: Sushi Typhoon

Video: Well Go USA

 

Video

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p

Disc Size: BD25

Codec: AVC

Runtime: 105 minutes

Region: A

 

Audio:

Japanese DTS HD-MA 5.1

Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0

 

Subtitles: English

 

Extras:

• Behind the Scenes (46:20)

• Deleted Scenes (12:35)
• Spinoff short film: Takuza Weapon (15:30)

  1. Trailers

• DVD copy


Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray case: BRD x 1 + DVD

Street Date: February 7, 2012



Synopsis [Well Go]:

The team who brought you Versus have returned with another hard-edged battle royale featuring tough gangsters, deadly women and cybernetic penis implants! Ex-yakuza Shozo Iwaki (Tak Sakaguchi) engages in a titanic battle of revenge against double-crossing Kurawaki, the man who killed his father. After a building-leveling skirmish, Shozo wakes up with an M61 Vulcan cannon in place of his right arm, and a rocket launcher where his left leg used to be. Shozo quickly learns to love his weaponized frame, and prepares for a bloody rematch with Kurawaki, who has some mechanical improvements of his own.

 

Co-directed by Yudai Yamaguchi and Tak Sakaguchi, creators of action-filled comedies like Battlefield Baseball and Cromartie High School, and based on an adult comic by Ken Ishikawa, (Cutie Honey, Getterrobot and more), Yakuza Weapon combines hard-boiled gangster action, manga-style comedy and splatterific special effects. Tough as nails, armed to the teeth, pissed-off and looking for a fight, Yakuza Weapon is coming to kick your ass!


           


LensView: 6

Critical Reaction:

Beyond Hollywood:

The film kicks off with Tak Sakaguchi as Shozo Iwaki, a yakuza working as a mercenary deep in the jungles of South America, being informed of the murder of his gang boss father (Akaji Maro, “Suicide Club”). Shozo heads back to Japan and soon discovers that his father was betrayed and killed by his right hand man Kurawaki (Shingo Tsurumi, also in Takashi Miike’s “Dead or Alive”), who has now taken over the Iwaki clan for his own ends, sacrificing their old school honour by moving into the drugs trade. Flying into a rage, Shozo and his friends launch an assault against Kurawaki’s headquarters. . . Despite losing an arm and a leg, Shozo survives, and wakes up in a strange government lab, finding that his missing limbs have handily been replaced by a M61 Vulcan cannon and a rocket launcher respectively, providing him with the perfect new body to finish off Kurawaki once and for all.

 

The film is certainly action packed and violent throughout, even more so than other similarly themed efforts, and it’s hard to imagine even the most jaded of genre fans not being impressed. . . The expected excess aside, the film is surprisingly well made, and despite its complete lack of sense does have a more competent and professional feel than other productions from the studio. To a large extent this is due to some excellent action direction, with the film managing to avoid the kind of clumsiness and low-impact nonsense which plagues the genre. . . a little more thought and effort seems to have gone into the film than is usual in Japanese splatter. – James Mudge


           


Eye For Film:

"Don't you ever die?"

With these words, Nayoko (Kurokawa Mei) is only articulating what viewers have long been wondering about Iwaki Shozo (played by Sakaguchi 'Tak' Taku, who also co-directs and co-writes). After all, we have already seen Shozo survive bullet hails ("You only get hit when you're afraid of getting hit"), a landmine ("Big deal"), a blow to the head from a large, airborne metal boat ("Ouch!"), the loss of his right arm ("It doesn't hurt a bit"), and a direct hit from a rocket launcher – and soon he will be putting to the test his own assertion that "no nuclear scares a true yakuza!". Like the character famously portrayed by Sakaguchi in Kitamura Ryuhei's Versus, Shozo seemingly cannot be stopped by anyone or anything.


While it would be difficult to maintain that Yakuza Weapon ever adds up to more than the sum of these parts, it would be equally churlish to discredit the film for its cheap CGI, its cartoonish characters or the anything-goes details of the plotting (including a a woman's crotch adapted into a missile launcher, and a man's penis used as a nuclear detonator), all of which are essential to its luridly over-the-top texture and free-wheeling, anarchic humour.


So while this latest offering from Nikkatsu's 'extreme gore' label Sushi Typhoon (Alien Vs Ninja, Cold Fish) may repeatedly seem to be punching above its own weight, it is also taking satirical shots at cinema's different tropes of masculine excess. Shozo's irrepressible impulse to pursue supremacy at absolutely any cost might be what marks him out as the film's hero – but it is also what makes him utterly ridiculous, in a joke that never dies. – Anton Bitel


           


Image: 6/7

The photography is shot on HD video and employ a softening filter throughout most of the movie that exacerbates the drawbacks of the medium: Blowing out of highlights (which here are in abundance throughout the movie) and a corresponding loss of shadow detail.  The effect is a movie of such contrast that it is absent much of a linear tonal scale.  The image is sharp enough sharp enough but almost impossible to get a grip on. Well Go doesn’t add to the problem with transfer problems, but things rarely stay still enough for us to tell anyhow.

 

Audio & Music: 6/3

The lossless DTS effects and music track makes the case, such as it is, for HD.  Clarity and dynamic range is pretty good even if shrill and caustic. LFE is room-shaking. Played at the expected loud levels, anything not fastened to your shelf might fall off.  The music is one of those generic pounding screeching noises that only someone on major quantities of meth could have come up with it.  This of course is its selling point, if you’re so inclined.


           

 

Extras: 4

Well Go offers a rather typical and uninteresting behind-the-scenes piece, quite long at 46 minutes, with the usual interviews, but I found it lacking in substance.  The deleted scenes are cleverly presented and droll enough in their own right.  I especially liked the 20-minute short film parody, apparently a spin-off from the feature film, titled Takuza Weapon.  Partly because of its shorter length and partly just because it was s o damned clever, I enjoyed this much more than the feature film.  Also included are a number of Sushi Typhoon trailers for: Helldriver, Yakuza Weapon, Mutant Girls Squad, Deadball, Karate-Robo Zaborgar.

 

Recommendation: 6

Yakuza Weapon is strictly for fans of Japanese splatter film, who should eat up this new movie with ample amounts of sake.  It certainly doesn’t lack for a sense of humor that refuses to take itself seriously – which is perhaps its most endearing feature.  There is a certain genre of movies out there that revel in self-satire to the point that even the production values seem deliberately scaled down lest the audience is misled into taking the film for a serious effort.  Yakuza Weapon neatly falls into this category.  The hand-held photography is enough to make the unsuspecting viewer nauseous, the audio is relentlessly in your face, the music is mindless beyond belief and promises to whack off a few points of your IQ in the belief that misery loves company.  Tak Sakaguchi is relentlessly frenetic but at the same time, disarmingly charming. The Bonus Feature Takuza Weapon is worth the price of the disc.


           



Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

February 3, 2012

 

 

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