Full Metal Yakuza
"It's not called "Full Metal Yakuza" because he's a superhero."
Full Metal Yakuza (1997)
AKA: Full Metal Gokudo
Director: Takashi Miike
Producer: Fujio Matsushima
Cast: Tsuyoshi Ujiki, Shoko Nakahara, Tomorowo Taguchi, Ren Osugi, Takeshi Caesar, Yasushi Kitamura, Koji Tsukamoto
Running Time: 102 min.
Plot: After being badly injured in a confrontation with a rival gang, a yakuza member is "rebuilt" into a bionic superman by an insane scientist, leaving him free and well-equipped to carry out his bionic revenge.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
EQUINOX21'S REVIEW: Up until the point I put in the Full Metal Yakuza disc into my DVD player, I'd seen about seven Takashi Miike movies, all of which I'd enjoyed. Unfortunately, the streak could not keep up. Full Metal Yakuza was a dull, cheesy, cheap, wannabe Ichi The Killer Lite (then again, because it was made about 4 years earlier, perhaps FMY's best described as a practice version of Ichi). It's not that I didn't enjoy it· well· ok, I really didn't. It was pretty boring.
A whiney and wussy Yakuza, Kensuke member is escorting his boss, Tousa, when they get ambushed and shot to pieces. Kensuke wakes up to find a crazy doctor has created a full metal body for him· but had to use Tousa's heart (and unusually large penis). The doctor wants Kensuke to be a superhero, only doing good· but Kensuke wants revenge. So, he goes off to get it. It's not called "Full Metal Yakuza" because he's a superhero.
Every single element of this movie screamed "cheap". It was shot on video, the special effects were super low-budget, and the full metal costume looked like a full plastic mold. It was lame. I suppose what Miike did with a small budget wasn't bad, but it was just painful to watch in some parts (and not just because of Miike's obsession with necrophilia, which makes another appearance in FMY).
My biggest problem with the movie was the character of Kensuke. He went from wussy and annoying, to unstoppable and annoying. It was obvious that this was the where Miike first got his idea for Ichi, because the two movies have a lot in common (though, FMY is less shocking and less bloody). If he weren't quite such a lame character to begin with, or became a cooler character later, it would have been far more bearable.
If you're interested in checking out Miike movies (and have never seen any, yet), this is not the one you want to start off with. It's just not that good a movie. It had very few redeeming features.
EQUINOX21'S RATING: 5/10