Dead or Alive (1999) torrent download

Dead or Alive

1999

Action / Comedy / Crime / Drama / Thriller

6.8

Synopsis

Without a home and feeling no obligation to Japanese society or Yakuza, Ryuichi (Takeuchi Riki) and his small group decide to make their own place by trying to take over the Shinjuku underworld and the drug trade from Taiwan. As they plan an all-out-assault on the remaining Chinese and Japanese mafia kings, only Detective Jojima (Aikawa Sho) stands between them and complete domination.

Director

Takashi Miike

Cast

Riki Takeuchi
as Ryuuichi
Sho Aikawa
as Det. Jojima
Kaoru Sugita
as Mrs. Jojima
Dankan
as Tanaka

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by HumanoidOfFlesh 8 /10

Wild Japanese action!

Takashi Miike's "Dead or Alive:Hanzaisha" left me speechless.The opening sequence is incredible in its style-we have strippers at work,several bloody shoot-outs,a gangster getting his throat slashed while sodomizing a young man in a public toilet etc.The finale is also amazing-I was literally blown away!The film is strangely amoral-check out especially the scene in which two punks making animal porn try feverishly to excite an Alsatian dog so it can mount naked girl in their presence.The film is not as violent and sadistic as the other Miike's works like "Visitor Q",but there are some really strong images that will surely linger in the memory.The acting is very good,the direction is well-handled and the film is hallucinogenic at times.All in all if you're fed up with predictable Hollywood's action trash check this one out!

Reviewed by Mr White-10 10 /10

This movie rocks!

I have no other way to say it: this movie was brilliant! When I saw it last week at the Rotterdam Film Festival, I was completely blown away! And I wasn't the only one... Several other people at the theater actualy gave a (well deserved) standing ovation! This movie was just extraordinary. Not Miiki Takashi's best work (that would be Audition), but certainly one of his most enjoyable and fun flicks! I am amazed that the director is so unknown outside of Japan, because he really is a genius, inventing cinema all over again. He is only in the movie making business for about four years, but already has a body of work that counts no less than 15 movies which are all original and perfect in their own way. In Japan he is well known and is counted to the film avantgarde, but none of his movies really got a wide cinema distribution. Most of his movies are relatively low budget and made for TV, Video or small cinema release. Maybe this gives him the freedom to constantly re-invent himself and push the limit of movie-making in general and perverse, cruel detail in perticular.

Now back to Dead or Alive. The first ten minutes are just breathtaking and eccentric. But after this the movie pulls back into a more conventional Yakuza vs. Cop story, only to go completely over the top at the end. The end effectively blows up every genre convention and just HAS to be seen to be believed.

The basic story is, like I said, quite conventional and simple; a cop tries to solve a case of a group of hitman who have robbed an armored truck. This of course can not be done without getting personally involved and if that wasn't hard enough, he has some grave family trouble too, because his daughter needs an operation which he can not pay. Meanwhile the leader of the killer group is reunited with his younger brother he raised, who does not know anything about his profession. The kid brother tough is destined to choose sides once he finds out that blood money payed for his college education abroad. Meanwhile the band of killers gets involved in a yakuza gang war, fighting over a drug cartel.

The middle part, in which the story unfolds, is shown with very little action and at moments can be compared to the calm style of Takeshi Kitano. But Takashi's signature is always very clear, and there are a lot of small perverse elements that illustrate his tendency to push it to the limit. There is a scene, for example, where a gangster kills a girl by drowning her in a kiddy pool filled with her own poop. But over all the story is told in a very compassionate way, sometimes balancing on the edge of melodrama, but never getting too sentimental because there always is a certain ironic detatchment. Despite this sometimes Kitanoesque detatchment and calm, the movie succeeds in making you really care for and relate to the charakters. I think this really is a big accomplishment. Finally combining this more conventional, 'humane' crime/drama story with the outrageousness of the beginning and the end, and making this combination work, shows how brilliant Takeshi really is. A director that has to be watched carefully!

10 out of 10

Reviewed by Quinoa1984 7 /10

a little more of the ordinary genre effort for Miike, but still contains a few very notable, outrageous set pieces

On the DVD for Dead or Alive, the first in the trilogy, director Takashi Miike is asked how he would describe the movie to someone who had no idea what it was about, and he describes it as an "enjoyable, healthy Yakuza movie". 'Healthy' is a word I tried to put into context with the film after seeing it, and I'm still not sure how it applies, except maybe in the sense of Miike sticking to a good deal of conventions this time around. It's definitely not that one can't see Miike's mark all over the picture, as it certainly isn't your grandfather's yakuza/crime movie (matter of fact not even John Woo). It's just that with certain elements, like the two main characters: the detective Jojima (Sho Aikawa) who's the decent, hard-nosed sort with the wife and daughter; and Ryuuichi (Riki Takeuchi), who has the face like one of those really crazy villain character actors in 40s film-noir, who wants to take over the mob in the area, by any means necessary. I felt like I could've seen some of this in any given yakuza thriller, albeit my lack of experience with the genre of "V-Cinema" in the 90s or yakuza thrillers in general.

Then again, for Miike he uses a lot of this to spring-board his own visual ideas and real tricks with the material. The way he starts to film is truly and unequivocally disorienting- I had to watch it twice just to sort of, kind of get a sense of what the hell I was watching. It gives the impression, which is both wrong and right with D.O.A., that it'll be a totally knock-your-socks-off work of gonzo film-making, where aberrant sex, brutal violence, drugs, and gangsters will always be lurking in the night (most disturbing is with the scene in the public bathroom, and then following it with the guy on the wheel-spinner being controlled by a guy on a bike). As the story goes into gear, however, this montage usage disappears, and Miike gravitates back into what one recognizes readily from his other films- fairly long takes and deep focus, and outbursts of insanely creative bits of trashy fun (highlights here include a woman who dies via pool of feces, which is actually really sick, a bit involving bestiality out of the blue, and a gigantic shoot-em-up Chinese vs Japanese battle where Ryuuichi and his gang kill both clans in one swift stroke).

Actually, seeing Miike in more genre-familiar territory isn't a bad thing, and sometimes a scene will come up that's meant to play seriously, and does, where in a lesser director would go for the cheap bits with lesser actors. An example of this is the fate of a character's brother, who betrays by taking money not really his and tries to talk his way out of it. So it's actually Miike still experimenting, though it's not a totally fulfilling trip in part because the conventions start to dull up in the middle. It's when Miike finally gets into that last third, with that wildly bloody shoot out- including both hilarious flights of fancy (a thug who was hiding comes out with a sword and goes ape-s*** all over one of the thugs) and the tragic (a character who was a surprise to show up gets killed). The fates grow darker for the detective character, who really was just looking for money somehow for an operation for his daughter. But his allegiance to the law gets put aside, and the "final scene" comes to a head.

Here Miike finally puts his 'wild-man of cinema' gears to full throttle, and it's exciting (as mentioned in trashy, violent, exploitive action-movie ways), ridiculous, and in the end jaw-droppingly funny. It's a good sign of things to come at the end, with the two big stars of V Cinema duking it out as if it's the old West again and the sheriff and outlaw have nothing to lose except for their 'special surprises' up their sleeves at the last bloody gunned down moment. What came before it wasn't all that great overall, and the first in the trilogy, even with a few sweet near X-rated touches of physical and psychological disturbance, doesn't amount to one of Miike's finest triumphs, I wouldn't of traded seeing the last three minutes of the film (final shot included) for anything. 7.5/10

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