For those who’d call themselves non-committed fans, it’s nigh impossible to keep track of what Takashi Miike has next. (To say nothing of the fact that one will hit a festival, another will make a theatrical release, then the former will come out months after…) I do, however, remember hearing about this one (since it was written about by yours truly), only adding to total incredulity about his ability to turn a project from “casting” to “shortly awaiting premiere” in roughly six months’ time. It doesn’t help that this even looks kind of fun.
Once called Shield of Straw, now known as Straw Shield — ta-may-toe, ta-mah-toe — Miike‘s newest picture follows a group of cops tasked with escorting a high-profile criminal whose $5 million bounty renders him a huge target. I’m pretty certain that thread’s been handled elsewhere (not just in the novel upon which this is based), and although a preview doesn’t lead one to think Shield will be the definitive version of that tale, I still like what’s on display. There’s some expected brutality, kinetic imagery to go with it, even an exploding train — in other words, you’re probably getting your money’s worth out of the experience.
Watch the trailer below (via Twitch):
Based on a novel by Kiuchi Kazuhiro, the movie stars Fujiwara Tatsuya as a killer named Kunihide Kiyomaru, who murders the granddaughter of a powerful figure in the political and financial world (Yamazaki Tsutomu). A few months later, Kiyomaru discovers the man has offered a 1 billion yen reward to anyone who manages to kill him. Fearing for his own life, he turns himself in to Fukuoka Prefectural Police.
Five elite Security Police are tasked with escorting Kiyomaru from Fukuoka to Tokyo, but they’re repeatedly blocked by citizens and other police looking to collect on the reward and or exact revenge. Meanwhile, a conflict arises when one of the SP officers, Mekari Kazuki (Osawa Takao), begins to doubt if they should even bother protecting a despicable person like Kiyomaru while his partner, Shiraiwa Atsuko (Matsushima Nanako), remains duty-bound.
Straw Shield will debut in Japan on April 26th; no U.S. release date has been set.
Does Miike seem to have another winner on his hands?
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