By Al Kratina
July 4, 2008 - 23:15
You’ve got to be in a certain mindset to enjoy a Takashi Miike film. And that mindset is crazy. The Japanese cult director makes a film every 10 minutes, so he doesn’t have time to think anything through. So the only way to truly appreciate the carnage is to let whatever emotional disturbances plagued your childhood bubble to the surface.
Most of his films are, of course, complete crap. They’re adored by those without the patience for subtitles, who need their foreign films to have as much action as a slaughterhouse with the intellectual complexity. But, every once in a while, as in Sukiyaki Western Django, he strikes gold.
The film is a pseudo-remake of classic spaghetti western Django, playing off of Japan’s obsession with American culture and the historic interplay between samurai films and the western. When a lone gunfighter rides into a town torn apart by feuding gangs, a ridiculously campy riff on Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars ensues.
The actors all deliver their lines phonetically, the violence is over the top in a retarded Roadrunner cartoon sort of way, and everything is paced at a fever pitch. It’s a hilarious film, especially if you like Westerns, and while Miike does not appear to have significantly firmed his grip on reality (casting Quentin Tarantino is not the act of a sane man), this is one of the few films in his canon that makes me feel happy instead of insane.
Rating: 8 /10