I'm so biased towards this movie that it's painful. Samurai? Miike? Yakusho? That's it. There we go. Yes, I would like to see this action movie please. The movie is basically setting up the huge forty or so minute set piece at the end. We get to know our awful motherfucking antagonist. The Badasses that are going to kill his ass. And then them planning on how to do it. Even then... when it happens... there are still tons of surprises that make you say "GODDAMN IT, YEAH!" It's just a really well put together action movie. I am so impressed with Miike. That guy has a lot of range. Sure... it's generally a pretty violent range, but he feel fleshes out of the spectrum of violent movies. And Yakusho... perhaps not typically cast as an "Assassin," he still plays the Leader of the Pack with APLOMB. The man gets so passionate about the assassination that he cries a little at the thought of it! Yakusho is also so good at bringing silence or a quietness to a role. He's an excellent contrast to Miike bombastic style. And when the film explodes by the third act... it feels good. Naritsugu is a great antagonist. A complete sonuvabitch. And I can't help but like a bad guy who gets overly philosophical about all the awful shit that he does. So, yeah, it's just a really tightly made movie about some samurai killing a real dick.
I'm Koji Yakusho and I'm gonna FUCK YOU UP!