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Ichi the Killer (2001)

Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Tadanobu Asano, Nao Omori, more...
Director: Takashi Miike, Takashi Miike
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Tokyo Shock
Genre: Crime, Yakuza, Quest, Revenge
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Maverick auteur Takashi Miike spins this unsettling, blood-soaked yakuza yarn adapted from Hideo Yamamoto's cult manga Koroshiya 1. When mob don Anjo mysteriously disappears, his protégé Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano) vows to find the people responsible. Sporting a blond head of hair and a yawning, pierced slash for a mouth, Kakihara is no ordinary gangster and his methods are equally unorthodox; he impales one poor suspect's naked body on a series of meat hooks and then dumps hot oil on him. Meanwhile, a shadowy character known as Jijii (played by director Shinya Tsukamoto) deftly manipulates, for his own nefarious ends, Ichi (Nao Omori), an unbalanced but ruthless killing machine clad in a superhero suit. Pining for the sadistic abuse of his boss, Kakihara learns of Ichi from a Hong Kong hostess (Alien Sun) and sets out to find this fabled butcher, hoping he can inflict the pain that Kakihara craves. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival as a part of the Midnight Madness program. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Ichi the Killer (2001)
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7.07 (488 votes)
Ichi the Killer (2001)
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7.83 (95 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

once was enough... by thediesis January 19, 2006 - 3:04 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
either you like the gory weirdness of Miike's later films or it's way too much for you. this was a bit much--- while there were parts that were laugh-out-loud funny, there are also parts that are so disturbing that the combined weight of them make a rather nauseating experience for even hardcore gore fans. while it's commentary about japanese impotance (my take on ichi) was amusing, seeing it once was more than enough. but-- there is a scene where he turns everything you know on it's head-- much like the dream sequence in audition-- that makes seeing it worth while, if for no other reason that it is so good to see a director screw with you in a really complex way.

Nobody to root for by Torgo January 8, 2005 - 12:35 AM PST
2 out of 7 members found this review helpful
I am a huge fan of gorey or violent movies so when I heard about this one, I wanted to check it out. Just hearing about the bizarre uniqueness of the movie's characters (for instance, the main bad guy who has his cheeks split). It was just too weird not to watch. I got a really bad VHS bootleg copy off ebay for 3 dollars and after I watched the thing in it's entirety, I wasn't disturbed or shocked or anything.
I was just really really really confused.
If you look at it this way: this movie has no particular plot. In some sick way, it tries to be like a superhero movie but I don't consider somebody who has a sick fetish for rape and cries like a baby before he kills people with razors in his shoes the definition of a "hero". Basically, the whole movie is about the "good guys" obsession with rape and it just gets really bizarre. How are we supposed to cheer for this guy if our protagonist is masturbating to a man beating a woman to death?
The bad guy was interesting. A very vibrant character and I can see why he's on the cover of the DVD and not Ichi, the real main character. This guy was sadistic in every sense of the word and kinda is like the polar opposite of Ichi because here is a man who enjoys inflicting and recieving pain against a man is shamed by his love for masochism.
But the movie's story is completely pulled out of a hat... at best. It's supposed to be a mix between a Gangster movie with a superhero movie with a snuff film and what comes out is a mess. The only reasons I wanted to see this movie in the first place was for the flamboyant use of violence in this movie and I was far from let down. But for anybody who wants to see this movie because of it's plot, remember that this movie came out straight to video and Jet Li's Hero is being played in the movie theaters for a good reason.
My only reason for recommending somebody watch this movie is just for the fact that you can say you saw it.

Bad and good depending on POV by rmarkd November 13, 2004 - 2:01 AM PST
2 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I guess you can rate a movie in two ways: how much you enjoy it or how good of a movie it is within its genre.

As a violent flick, maybe this movie is an 7-8, but in terms of personal feelings, it's a 4. Lots of sick scenes, some plot. But, like porn, the plot is there just to string along the 'moneyscenes'. In that, it delivers, but I need something more in order to enjoy the movie.

Oh, I was watching this movie and my female roommate watched a few minutes of it. She just happened to watch a scene at that particular moment that made her get up, walk away and call me a sick bastard. (minor spoiler: the 'nipple abuse' scene)

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