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Izo (2004)

  Directed by: Takashi Miike
Written by: Shigenori Takechi
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Ryuhei Matsuda, Hiroki Matsukata, Kazuki Tomokawa
Links: Izo on the IMDb
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 1.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

Izo (2004) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Three... Extremes (2004).

"This isn't even a movie!" - a review by timchuma

Izo is a vengeful spirit of an executed samurai whose mission in life is to kill, which he does in scene after unconnected scene, with various people spouting supposedly philosophical dialogue that makes no sense at all and with bridging scenes containing stock footage of Adolf Hitler and wartime atrocities.

For some reason a folk / blues musician (Kazuki Tomokawa) turns up in some scenes out of the blue and starts singing. It was funny the first few times, but eventually he got so annoying that I wanted Izo to cut his head off.

The main character is supposedly 'condemned to eternal hell', which is what watching this movie was like, as there was no continuity and it only seemed to exist for the director to carry out his violent fantasies. I should be glad that we were at least spared having to see Izo wipe out a classroom full of children.

I have to admit that seeing samurai warriors running around in modern day Japan and a SWAT team fighting Izo in feudal times was kind of interesting, but it was ruined by not having anything to explain it. I know that Takashi Miike's movies are meant to be confusing, but at least his other movies have a plot. Even though I had problems watching Dead or Alive: Hanzaisha (1999) or Ichi the Killer (2001), at least I knew who was killing who.

Although I am not calling for James Hewison's (the program director for Melbourne International Film Festival, which is where I saw the film) head on a pike over this movie, it is definitely a sign that MIFF is starting to spin its wheels. The same types of movies are screening on virtually the same day and there have been various problems with the program and screenings, including this one, as it had a scratch running the entire length of the print.

timchuma gives this movie 1 out of 10.
Review created on Sun 7 Aug 2005

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