Archive for May 8th, 2012

Riki Fudoh is the son of a powerful Yakuza gangster who one night sees his father kill his older brother as part of a yakuza punishment. The father has to sacrifice something for the crimes Riki’s brother made against another yakuza clan. The Yakuza says that he can get away with the case by chopping his own arm off, but instead he wants to kill his son and bring his head to satisfy the Yakuza. From that day on, Riki seeks revenge for his father without showing it. He becomes the most intelligent student in his school and he forms his own criminal society to fight the old generation Yakuza with the help of some school friends. They include a huge long haired caricature of high school student who crushes everything under him, two cute Japanese girls, which both have some very nasty habits and “tools” and two 6-7 year old boys who commit the assassinations for Riki. When Riki’s father finds out from the rival Yasha clan that Riki is behind some of the assassinations taking place, he is ordered to kill him. Riki’s half-brother Gendo, a strong and highly skilled Korean agent is told to carry out the task. As Riki’s small army start to get eliminated one by one, will Riki be able to survive to fulfill his mission of taking over his father’s empire.

Fudoh: The New Generation was Takashi Miike’s first critically acclaimed movie over in the West which made people open their eyes to the creative genius that he is. You can see why this movie turned heads – it has drama, sex, OTT violence, gore and comedy. It’s a fast paced and ferociously violent movie with very imaginative set pieces. Miike’s direction is superb in his handling of the movie. He directs the action scenes in a manic and weird style. The visuals are outstanding. The characters in Fudoh are very memorable. Riki’s partners in crime are crazy from the schoolgirl assassin who can shoot darts from her private parts to the hermaphrodite and the 2 child killers. Some of the violent scenes are very bloody, like the poisoning of one yakuza, which really is effective and grotesque to say the least but typical Miike! The assassinations are brutal and gory. None of the violence is exploitative, but some viewers may consider it too graphic and off-putting, but that is always the case with personal, unlimited and symbolic cinema. Everything about Fudoh is so OTT and insanely exaggerated that you seem not to notice that the likelihood of a group of children being at war with the Yakuza is highly improbable. Midway through the movie we are shown the children’s training camp where we see the kids merrily playing football with their English teacher’s head, this serves again to reinforce the sense of unreality that’s at play here. I loved how Miike just abruptly finished the movie.

Definitely one of Takashi Miike’s finest movies and such a pleasure to watch. Truly unforgettable. Highly recommended.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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