Sunday, October 11, 2015

Yakuza Apocalypse Review

Yakuza Apocalypse Review
Why would I not want to watch a movie called "Yakuza Apocalypse?"

The thing is, I didn't realize just how crazy the movie would be. I figured it would be a big, goofy action movie about yakuza factions at war with each other. But that's not it, not quite. It tells the story of a yakuza boss named Genyo Kamiura (Lily Franky), who has held onto his power for quite sometime. Some people believed he was untouchable and unkillable. But Kamiura has a secret, a secret not many know about. There is an associate of Kamiura named Kagayama (Hayato Ichihara), who grows very close to Kamiura, wanting to become just like him. One night, he gets his wish. One night, Kamiura is cornered and brutally killed by rivals. He pushes himself towards Kagayama and sinks his teeth into his neck.

Yep, that's right. This is why Kamiura has stayed in power for so long. He is a vampire, and he passed his vampire powers onto Kagayama. Now Kagayama has a one man mission, to destroy all of Kamiura rivals and get the ultimate revenge for his crew. This is the story of "Yakuza Apocalypse" and if you think that premise sounds crazy, it gets a lot more nuts.

How nuts? How about a woman whose ears spurt milk out of them, for which she is growing a human army with soil to take over the other Yakuza clans? How about a guy who puts on a frog suit, which grants him special powers, to only lose the suit later in the movie to reveal he is a man with a frog's head? How about a guy growing fangs and wings and begins flying around? Yep, "Yakuza Apocalypse" features all of these things, but what is most shocking is that the movie remains confident all throughout, which turns this from a crazy gimmick to a fun motion picture.

When I say motion picture, I do mean motion picture. The fight scenes are pretty special in this movie. Absolutely bone-crunching, big moves, supreme in every meaning of the word. Asian cinema is known for its great action scenes, and "Yakuza Apocalypse" certainly lives up to that tradition, with a vengeance. While there is so much ridiculous content in the movie, its amazing how the action can revolve around it all, elevating the experience.

There is a lot of humor in the movie, lots of stuff to really get your pulse pounding. But most of all, "Yakuza Apocalypse" is reminder that there are no bad ideas in movies, it just goes to show that any idea can work in movies. The bigger if is can you make it matter to the audience. In the case of "Yakuza Apocalypse" the answer is yes.

FINAL GRADE: A-

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