Sukiyaki Western Django Takashi Miike

Japanese auteur Takashi Miike will not be confined by genre, creating everything from the family-friendly fare of The Great Yokai War to ultra-violent gore-fest Ichi the Killer. Miike makes each film his regardless of genre, injecting the basic story with his unique sense of humour, flashy eye candy and often plenty of over-the-top cartoon violence. With Sukiyaki Western Django, a loose remake of Sergio Corbucci's Django mixed with a heavy does of Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars, which itself borrowed from Akira Kurosaw's classic Japanese samurai film Yojimbo, the quirky director now adds the western to his body of work. When a nameless lone gunman rides into a town caught in a feud between two gangs — the Genji (signified by white) and Heiki (signified by red) — he offers the highest bidder his services in finding the treasure they are both searching for, and plenty of gunfights ensue. The story may be pretty straightforward but the film is very stylish, with Miike mixing in elements of Eastern culture and intentional anachronisms but the strangest conceit is Miike's insistence that the Japanese actors film their parts in English. Unfortunately, the sometimes unnatural intonations can be difficult for an audience to easily follow, although it's the faux-Japanese accented lines of Miike-adoring director Quentin Tarantino, who is quoted in one of the trailers on the DVD as saying, "Miike is one of the greatest directors living today," that are most in need of the English subtitles. Sukiyai Western Django is a fun film that will appeal to the typical Miike fan but it's also got the mainstream appeal and English language dialogue that might finally find Miike accepted by the average Western moviegoer fearful of foreign language films. The DVD contains a few deleted scenes, a selection of (unnecessary) clips from the movie, trailers and a very good 50-minute "making of" documentary. (Seville)