Ichi the Killer (2001)


Ichi the Killer – Takashi Miike

Koroshiya 1 (original title)

Summary:  300 million Yen goes missing when a Yakuza boss disappears.  His former aide, Kakihara (Tadanobu Asano), rounds up other gang members to seek out what has happened to both the man and the money, believing he is still alive.  Intensely sadomasochistic, Kakihara extracts information from rival gang members the only way he knows how; through brutal torture.  Piecing the mystery together, Kakihara is eventually led to discover a man named Ichi (Nao Ômori) is responsible for killing his former colleague, but is yet to learn of Ichi’s power and their shared connection on inflicting pain on others, yet for different gains.

My Review:  Violence is amped up beyond maximum; and I thought Oldboy and Sympathy for My Vengeance were bad.  Prepare yourself for some really hardcore viewing, with scenes of torture by suspension and piercing, Kakihara cutting off his own tongue and Ichi becoming sexually aroused only when enraged – no spoilers; I may as well say it because it’s what this film is known for.  Banned outright in some countries for the impact of the violence and cruelty, I question if the narrative is really worth it.  Extreme, but for all the wrongs reasons.

My Rating: 2/5

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