In less than two months, we reviewed two different Takashi Miike films. This came after last year’s review of Hara-Kiri — which is starting to open in the United States — and all of those will only precede a rundown of his next outing, Lesson of the Evil, later this year. My point being, this is a guy who makes everyone around him look lazy — if, as our reviews indicate, not always bad.
Next up, according to Variety, is Shield of Straw, which has found its leads in Takao Osawa, Nanako Matsushima (Ringu), and Tatsuya Fujiwara (Battle Royale, Death Note). Here, Miike is adapting Kazuhiro Kiuchi‘s novel of the same name, wherein a couple of cops (Osawa and Matsushima) are commanded to take a killer (Fujiwara) across Japan. A simple task at first blush, but one which becomes problematic when the man’s grandfather puts a $12 million bounty on his head and, of course, some bounty hunters take notice.
I’d say “that sounds nothing like Miike‘s usual oeuvre,” but the guy has made so many damn movies I wouldn’t even risk making that mistake. Any aforementioned skepticism about his recent output notwithstanding, Shield of Straw‘s core concept is the kind of tale I’d never object to seeing unfold in a cinematic fashion; with a man of this stature telling it, we’re simply compelled to take note.
What are your impressions of Shield? Does Miike have something good on his hands?
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