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July 29, 2012

Movie Review: Yakuza Weapon (2011)

Directed by Tak Sakaguchi
Starring Dennis Gunn, Cay Izumi and Shinji Kasahara
Run Time: 105 minutes

Shozo Iwaki is living his life as a mercenary in South America when he is kidnapped by Japanese secret agents and brought back to Japan in an effort to thwart a huge take over of the Yakuza empire by Kurawaki, the man who murdered Shozo’s father. When they face-off on a roof top Shozo loses an arm and a leg in the battle, while Kurawaki’s injuries force him into a wheelchair which houses the cybernetic machinery which keeps him alive. Barely alive, Shozo is taken to a hidden medical laboratory where he is equipped with a Gatling-gun on his arm and a rocket launcher on his lost leg, turning him into.....The Yakuza Weapon.

In his quest to find Kirawaki and destroy him once and for all, he must first fight his way past hordes of drug-crazed zombie ninja’s, super-hot female assassins dressed in nurses outfits, and then have a showdown with his blood-brother, who is so determined to defeat him that he turns his own sister into a living-weapon, equipped with a machine-gun in her mouth and 3 rocket launchers, (one in the pink, one in the stink and one that emerges from her detachable head). And if all that wasn't enough, he must battle Kirawaki once more, who has brought Shozo’s father back from the dead and used his re-animated corpse to house a nuclear weapon.

This movie was an absolute riot. It basically starts out as a martial-arts comedy, and then about 40 minutes in, it flips the script and turns into this bizarre, blood-splattered sci-fi/horror comedy show.  It was an absolute train-wreck of Japanese goodness, think Kung-Fu Hustle meets Tokyo Gore Police. That pretty much nails it so if your a fan of either of those films then your in for a treat with Yakuza Weapon. And I’m not sure exactly why, but it seems the Japanese are the only ones interested in making movies this awesome and fun.

One of the many things that impressed me about this film was the fact that for the first time in my life I watched a movie heavily laden with sub-par CGI effects and it didn't once piss me off, in fact, those hokey effects blended perfectly into the absolute absurdity of the story, giving the film a true comic-book feel. Add in those insanely over-acted characters and slap-stick comedy that seemed to find its way into even the most serious of scenes, along with enough action to make you dizzy, and you’ve got a movie that's worth getting excited about. You might wanna pop 2 buckets of popcorn for this one, as it's a bit on the long side (105 minutes), but that didn't seem to detract from the awesomeness one bit, as the fun never really slows down. In fact, it builds up nicely and reaches a frantic pace at about the one hour mark and holds that pace to the end. Very well done indeed.

Comedy, blood, guts, sci-fi weirdness and tons of glorious martial arts goodness... What more could you ask for in a movie?

Highly Recommended

I score it 9 out of 10

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