Back when films like “Django” and “A fist full of Dollars” were been released they were called Spaghetti westerns. Like noodles from Japan, the italians had taken them and changed them into something completely different (Spaghetti). Thus when they took the classic American Western movie they made it into something new and exciting. Django and Fist Full of Dollars are themselves based upon the Japanese film Yojimbo which is also based on the Novel Red Harvest. Takashi Miike brings this full circle by taking the classic spaghetti western “Django” and making it into his own unique vision. A Sukiyaki Western.
The story as mentioned is taken from Django and Yojimbo, a Gunman enters a town and is faced having to choose between two rival gangs who have taken over the town in their search for gold, the town people who are left would rather use the Gunman to rid them of both gangs.
The mix of these Genres from Western to Samurai is a lot of fun and presents some beautiful scenes and comedic moments. The setting is timeless. A western town in Japan with English speaking Japanese characters who live by the gun instead of the sword. The last Chapter of the film is balls to the wall action present with the most beautiful visuals and for me Kaori Momoi stole every scene she was in. The other actors gave great performances and they clearly are enjoying it, but it’s hard to match the sexiness of Momoi as she licks the hot barrel of her gun after blasting dudes away.
The film is in English, not dubbed. The Japanese cast speak English although some of you may still need subtitles if you have trouble understanding accents or people with broken English. The English mainly spoken in the movie is phonetic. This seems funny at first but you get used to it and I didn’t have much trouble understanding anything at all except for a few words here and there which I could guess. It’s not something that takes away from the enjoyment of the film. It might even add to the fun of this film. Even Tarantino seems to be doing a Bruce Lee impression in some of his scenes.
For those of you who have been put off or could not stomach Miikes previous movies I am sure you’ll find this far more palatable. I think one of his best. It’s not what you might expect from a Miike film, he left his mark on it but clearly there have been so many other influences to this work. I am pretty sure Tarantino made a few suggestions, in particular the final epilogue which made me giggle with glee as the Django theme played. I am delighted to see Tarantino working with the likes of Miike since he himself is obviously a fan of Miike’s work. One hopes we may still see a Tarantino produced Tetsuo III.
Favorite quote: “Every man has got his own reasons for why he has to keep on living.” ~ Ruriko