“One day, Boss Anjo of the powerful yakuza group “The Anjo Group” vanishes, together with one hundred million yen. In fact, Boss Anjo was assassinated by the killer Ichi, with the bloodbath mastermind by Jijii. Kakihara,a member of the anjo group, orders his crew to search for the boss, basically turning the town upside down. With the help of a mysterious club hostess Karen, Kakihara gets closer to finding Jijii’s hired killer, Ichi……..”
Many of you out ther might be wondering why a film like this is being reviewed. Well to sum it up in a nutshell, Ichi The Killer is not only one of the best films put out last year, it is also one of the most sadistc and unyielding films ever made. This is Takashi Miike’s adaptation of a famous Japanese manga and he does so with unyielding violence, gore, sadism, taboo breaking and the like. However, what makes this film stand on it’s own is the fact that it has a great storyline, good plot, great sense of style, and is very well cast for it’s actors. Combine this with more twist and turns in the story than you can shake a stick at along with ample amounts of black humor and you have a film that deinately leave it’s mark.
Ichi The Killer really is a story that revolves around two central characters that are on an inevitable collision course of carnage and destruction. The first character we are really alllowed to know is Kakihara. Kakihara was the best chracter in this film as far as I am concerned. Tadanobu Asano seemingly has great fun playing him which relly gives a lot of legitamacy to the actual chracater itself. To Sum up Kakihara essentially would be to call him a scarred up-pierced-bleach blonde-sadomascistic nutcase who just so happens to be a torture expert for a Shinjuku syndicate. When Kakihara is not inflicting torture on others trying to findout where Boss Anjo is he’s inflicting some kind of physical punishment to himself through other people. His underlying reason for find the Boss is quite interesting and adds legitamcy to the chracter he is playing, see the movie to findout.
On the other end of the spectrum is Ichi. Summing up Ichi (Nao Omori) is quite complex. Ichi is a meek little dork who turns into mass super psycho killer complete in superhero costume with axe blades atached to the back of his shoes!!!!! So basically most of his victims look like the zombies at the end of Braindead who met up with the lawnmower I kid you not! Ichi kills people who he believes are the people that bullied and tormented him as a child when he was in school. The mysterious old man Jijji is the one who shows Ichi where these “bullies” are, of whom then Ichi goes and gruesomly disposes of! At a certain point you start wondering if Ichi really was bullied as a kid and see his sick and twisted sexual fascination with the raping and beating of women.
All in all Miike has produced and incredible film in Ichi The Killer. It takes so many hideous asthetics and combines them with some pretty stylish and impressive ones that does not make you want to all together wince away in revulsion but, rather watch this film with fascination. Gorehounds will really lap this film up because of the absolute carnage in it and this will be the cut version too!!! Fear not however,the cut version will only make you wonder what they actually had to take out and doesn’t less the impact of the film (I have seen both versions). There are so many interesting chracters in the film and the two lead chracaters really make this film go from the get go! Suffice to say Miike did an impeccable job of casting for this film. Overall, I liked this movie as much because it strays from the philosphy of making a film pitting the bad guys versus the good guys, and makes it the bad guys versus the bad guys or the bad guys versus the pathetic guys. Overall, Ichi The Killer is an excellent film and is definitley not one to be missed. Highly recommended to those who like films that really dare to be brave bold and different. But you are warned Ichi The Killer is for the strong stomached and hearted only!!! Nevertheless it is a masterpiece in it’s own right and shouldn’t be missed and gauranteed to satisfy!!!!