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Review: Sukiyaki Western Django

Despite the funky name, I was determined to see Sukiyaki Western Django on opening night. There were two main reasons: the dope trailer and director Takashi Miike. I’m not exactly a fan-girl of Miike. Audition didn’t really do it for me, but I really loved Ichi the Killer. If you haven’t seen that one, go rent it immediately. I’m not really squeamish, and I had to cover my eyes through a few parts.

Last Friday night, Sukiyaki Western Django opened at the Nuart. Even though we went to the 10pm show, there was a bigger-than-usual crowd. Some hipsters, some Asian-philes, a few Tarantino fan-boys/girls. From the trailer I knew Quentin Tarantino was going to be in the film. I just hoped that he wouldn’t fuck it up.

Right after the movie I sent a text to my friend. She made plans to see the movie on Sunday because I hyped it up. (I have the tendency to get overly excited about stuff). My text said: “Just to warn you the movie is in bad English – not Japanese.”

Had the movie been in Japanese, I think I would have really, really enjoyed it. It was Takashi Miike’s interpretation of a spaghetti Western with a touch of Samurai sensibilities. It had all the elements of a great film: beautiful actors, awesome action scenes, cool cinematography.

Unfortunately, it also had Japanese actors saying things like “I reckon that’s true” in really bad accents. Do you know how difficult it is to follow a movie with bad Engrish? Hey, I’m Asian, and it was pissing me off. I had to ignore a lot of parts and wait for the action scenes. The crowd cheered the loudest for the few Tarantino scenes which weren’t too horrible but not enjoyable either.

I didn’t hate the movie. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed. Hideaki Ito plays a great Pale Rider-esque gunslinger, and Yusuke Iseya is simply gorgeous. (Don’t worry, guys; you have some eye candy, too.) I won’t ruin it for you but I will say one of the actresses was my favorite character. The last fight scene saved the movie for me, and the action sequences were worth the ticket price. I might rent it later and re-watch it in a quieter setting.

It could have been a great movie, but it was just okay. Takashi Miike let me down with this one. I understand that he wanted to reach an American audience, but this film would have been so much better in Japanese. Forget those lazy Americans who can’t be bothered with subtitles. Make a real film for the rest of us.
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See Hana’s less-angry side at supahcute.com.

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3 Responses

  1. i am SO renting this. even if it’s in bad engrish. hehe.

  2. Tarantino shouldn’t have attempted the bad japanese bad engrish accent. His parts might have been better had that epic failure been reconsidered.

    The last scene definitely saved the movie for me as well. Thank God for guns and swords.

  3. grrrace: i think it’s worth renting. it had some really great moments.

    lisarisa: i just wanted to punch Tarantino in the throat.

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