Here's five reasons why you should love Takashi Miike's live action adaptation of SEGA's Japanese Action Drama video game Yakuza.
Number Five: Dog Day Afternoon
While the main plot of the film concern's protagonist and former Tojo Clan enforcer Kazuma Kiryu returning to his home turf in order to put things right which have gone wrong in the past, one of the sub-plots concerns a pair of bumbling petty robbers who find themselves trapped in a bank in the middle of a heatwave and no air conditoning. Their constant bickering and realising they are way over their head makes for some really funny scenes.
Number Four: The Dragon Of Dojima
Kazuki Kitamura plays the film's main protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and while he may not be an exact likeness of his video game counterpart he pretty much nails Kazuma's stoic personality. Also he looks pretty impressive in the numerous fight scenes he partakes in.
Number Three: Brawl For All
One of the video game series core game mechanics is the fighting system. As you play through all the titles you'll get involved with many martial arts battles. The series is known for it's brutally violent content and luckily director Miike doesn't shy away from it. While the choreography used is less over the top hand to hand combat and more down and dirty brawling it works and we get some really good fight scenes, especially the first fight between Kazuma and his nemesis Goro Majima.
Number Two: Feel The Heat
One of the most unique elements of the game's fight system are the Heat Actions. As the player is fighting a special meter builds up which allows them to use special moves such as stomping on a poor guy's face, smashing his head into a wall or slamming a bicycle down on him. When the meter is ready a blue flame emanates from the player's body. If this had been done by any other director then this is something that would have been completely ignored. Luckily Miike is a director who loves using wild and crazy ideas so applying the Heat Actions to the fight scenes is an excellent idea.
Number One: He's One Bad Mutha...
Every hero needs a good villain and Like A Dragon delivers with Goro Majima played by Goro Kishitani. Majima is one of my favourite characters from the video game series and Kishitani plays exactly as he is in the game. His eyepatch may be over the wrong eye but that's a minor complaint given that Majima's crazy yet at the same time incredibly humorous personality shines through.
That's it for this entry of 5 Things To Love. Be sure to check back later in the week when I'll be posting my next review.