Tuesday, November 09, 2010

13 Assassins and Outrage

13 Assassins and Outrage would would certainly have been a dream double bill for modern Asian cinema aficionados, would they have been scheduled the same day at AFI Fest.

The new entry from iconoclastic director Takashi Miike, 13 Assassins (13 Assassins review) is a surprisingly formal film from a filmmaker mostly known for his outrageous works (Ichi the Killer, Audition among others). The film centers on a group of assassins that is hired to killed a cruel dignitary. Echoing the Seven Samourais and The Dirty Dozen, this is a quite restrained and effective work that proves to be fun while avoiding typical Miike's excesses - there is one signature horrible scene though.

Takeshi Kitano's Outrage (Outrage review) marks a return to the director's favorite subgenre, the yakuza film, but this brutal work remains inferior to some of his most emblematic films (Sonatine, Fireworks, Brothers), mostly because his sense of poetry is lacking here.