Sukiyaki Western Django (2007)

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Sukiyaki Western Django: Directed by Takashi Miike. With Hideaki Itô, Masanobu Andô, Kôichi Satô, Kaori Momoi. A nameless gunfighter arrives in a town ripped apart by rival gangs and, though courted by both to join, chooses his own path.

“The line between Japanese samurai films and Italian Westerns (called u0026quot;spaghettiu0026quot; in the West and u0026quot;macaroniu0026quot; in the East) has been blurry from the days of Akira Kurosawa and Sergio Leone. The widescreen expanses of 19th Century lawlessness was a cinematic language easily translated between chambara and Euro oaters.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eProlific filmmaker Takashi Miike forgoes the pasta and dubs his dabbling in the horse opera a u0026quot;sukiyakiu0026quot; western. This Japanese stew-like metaphor is appropriate as Miike throws in a great number of influences and references into his dish. What cooks up may bear the name u0026quot;Djangou0026quot; (and he introduces a coffin hiding a machine gun midway through the film) but it owes more to Kurosawa than Corbucci in its acknowledged inspiration from YOJIMBO. The unnamed black clad antihero rides into a previously thriving town to find it a wretched hive of scum and villainy; occupied by a handful of citizens and two warring clans, the Genji and Heike.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eClad in red and white, Miike injects some heavy duty rose overtones into the film, calling out the War of the Roses, Henry VI, and a hybrid rose bush named u0026quot;loveu0026quot; quite frequently. At least two of the filmu0026#39;s characters are products of Genji (red) and Heike (white) love affairs.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eEven with a wealth of past ideas to pilfer, SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO canu0026#39;t sustain itself for its full two hour running time. Things slow down about an hour into the proceedings. In order to inject some life into the faltering action, Miike breaks into the cartoon sound effects library and attempts to make SWD a life action anime film. These instances feel completely out of place, even after the highly stylized pre-credit sequence starring living cartoon character Quentin Tarantino.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s strange with actors speaking English as a second language (for the most part) and who muddle through some tricky pronunciations (thank goodness for the English subtitles) that the worst performance of the film comes courtesy of a native English speaker. Quentin Tarantino seems to be doing some kind of Western drawl crossed with a fluctuating German accept as if channeling a drunk Klaus Kinski through a faulty connection. Tarantinou0026#39;s embarrassing u0026quot;actingu0026quot; may be brief but every second he spends on screen is excruciating.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSure to be a hit with every hipster who has never seen an Asian in a cowboy hat (allow me to recommend TEARS OF THE BLACK TIGER and THE NEW MORNING OF BILLY THE KID), SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO could do with some tightening up and a complete Tarantino-echtomy.”


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