An eye-catching and predictably violent tale of yakuza, drugs and romance, Miike's film may be written off on face value as a minor instalment in a staggeringly prolific oeuvre. Yet, Dave Crewe argues, this is very much a significant work in its own right – one that places the Japanese auteur's signature thematic concerns in a more coherent, sophisticated and ultimately uplifting framework.
Dead or Alive, Ichi the Killer, cinema of outrage, B movies, violence, Chinese triads, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Yakuza Apocalypse, boxing
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