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Izo (2004)


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Release Date: Jan 1, 2004 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 5,507

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Movie Info

The insanely prolific Takashi Miike teams again with screenwriter Shigenori Takechi (Graveyard of Honor) for his first samurai film, Izo. The film begins where Hideo Gosha's 1969 Hitokiri (the last film author Yukio Mishima starred in before his suicide) left off, with the crucifixion and bloody execution of a low-level samurai, Izo (Kazuya Nakayama). After death, Izo's spirit travels through history and ends up in the present day, where he finds himself among the downtrodden. Before long, his

Oct 11, 2005


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All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (0) | Rotten (4) | DVD (3)

...all but the most blindly loyal Miike fans will find sitting through this distended and monotonous film an ordeal.

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: All Movie Guide
All Movie Guide

Audience Reviews for Izo

A nihilistic/budhist approach to film conventions and genres. Izo is a destructive force that seeks peace by doing the only thing he was good at. Miike deconstructs movie mechanisms to the point of exposing how pointless they are. Action sequences go to the point of the excess, taking away anything "exciting" about them. Some of the most important actors in the history of japanese cinema appear barely 5 minutes, then get killed. You could say Izo is not only unleashing his rage to the world, but also over the movie industry. The more people dismiss this movie in Miike's body of work the more it becomes relevant and alive.
May 12, 2011
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

One of the weirdest films every produced and also one of the hardest to watch. There was a lot of greatness in this film. I really liked the school scene where Izo cuts down the mothers, but this film was just far too repetitive. It's basically a guy being defiant and killing everyone. It also has a lot of deep philosophical musings, but for me the gore and violence was just too strong to let the deeper themes through. Something tells me this was never meant to be enjoyed as normal films are which is both one of it's pluses and one of it's negatives. Certainly worth checking out, but you may need a few sittings to get through it.
August 7, 2009

Super Reviewer

Miike himself has described the movie as a mantra, a way of exploring the same basic idea through various facets of meaning. Most movies are merely concerned with a contrived plot, a way of hustling a bunch of characters along to a happy or sad ending. Izo is not about a plot, but it has a story, one which neither ever really began nor ended, so a linear plot would not serve its intentions. We see pieces of various parts of his life linking up and creating drama that fuel the films' forward momentum, much as Izo's anger sends him hurtling forward again and again towards...what?
The further Izo goes, the more he becomes a monster of instinct, and the more nihilistic his fury becomes, not because he kills, but because he no longer has any element of choice
October 16, 2008
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Takashi Miike. What the hell? This guy makes some pretty good movies, but he also makes some freaky weird s***. Not only is Izo FREAKY WEIRD S***, it is way past it. I've actually seen some of his freaky weird s***, but this takes the cake. Actually I shouldn't say that because he may top this one day. That will be quite a feat.I don't know where to start. Let me just say: what the hell? There is a movie out there called Pistol Opera, which is just abstract to the max. This movie actually gives that film a hard rub. If you can actually grasp 10% of this film, you deserve a medal. For most NORMAL people, this film will rack your brain. You will try so hard to understand what is going on, but at the end of the day you will be unsuccessful. I don't even know how someone can write a film like this. What the hell?Let me start with the story. The story is ... I don't know ... weird. Let me just say there is a guy killing many people with a sword. When I say many, I mean many. Like Rambo or Hard Boiled many. That is all I have to say about that.This movie has everything. Violence, blood, sex, nudity, and even a 5 minute one-shot segment of a guy singing. What the hell? Not to mention that the dialogue is intense and graphic. The cinematography is good at times, but at others it is a little shaky and ... weird. Going back to the violence and blood. This movie is loaded with it. If you don't like blood and merciless killings, do not watch this.I don't even know how to rate the acting. I guess Izo, the lead, is pretty good. As far as the supporting cast goes, I just don't know. There is no other character in this film that has more than 4 to 5 minutes of airtime. When you have a 2+ hour movie and you do the math that is a lot of characters. There are some posters and covers for this film that will backup what I just said. You know what? Now that I think about it, there is somebody that has more than a few minutes on screen and it is a guy with a guitar. A guy with a guitar ... that just raises even more questions ... like ... what the hell? You may be getting irritated with reading that, but let me say, that I said and thought that much more times while watching this.I don't know who to recommend this movie to. So I won't.
March 2, 2008
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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