Izo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Izo Reviews

Page 1 of 16
DragonEyeMorrison
Super Reviewer
April 25, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2009
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.
DrBenway
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2008
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
skactopus
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2008
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.
deano
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2007
Worst and bullshit Japanese tale that made me fell asleep in the cinema.
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2011
Definitely one of the more difficult movie-watching experiences I've had in the last few years! Miike's Izo does not follow a typical movie archtype. The director uses freeform narrative combined with stunning imagery to make a movie that has to be seen to believe it's real! I don't think I fully understood what was going on as the plot takes a backseat to ideas and imagery. Multiple viewings are probably required to take it all in!
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2007
You will either see this as a profound, earth shaking metaphor or a blood soaked piece of boredom. I'm going with the metaphor.
April 17, 2014
So torturous to watch I contemplated committing hari-kari by disemboweling myself with Takashi Miike's razor sharp wit!
½ July 11, 2012
It aspires to be poignant allegory, a twisted bizarro Jesus story where, instead of salvation, a christ figure emerges to wreak destruction on the humanity that crucified him. It succeeds at being a big ol' pile of shit. One of the worst things that can be said about a film is that it feels 3 times longer than its runtime. This film felt about 8 unintelligible hours long, despite a 2 hour runtime. It jumps from scene of obnoxious screaming and graphic violence to scene, with a few character interaction scenes interspersed with enough pseudo-philosophical rambling to lend some semblance of a reason to the violence taking place. The film embodies ideology in these break-from-the-action scenes as a group of castrated old men who are in charge of economics, religion, law, education, etc. and what concerns me the most about this film is that we are supposedly led to despise these characters (no problem there) moreso than the child-murdering demon who is hellbent on their destruction, at the cost of the lives of thousands of innocents (a wee bit of a problem there). As far as an intelligent argument being made about society goes, things went terribly wrong somewhere. Also, at one point, a woman pulls a sword out of her vagina. So there's that.
May 23, 2010
Death and more death, and yet more death. Monotonous death scenes for all of about five minutes of the film. The film looks great but you're over it, after a half hour.
½ May 1, 2010
Wow, it's weird seeing all these movies that went under my radar... Uh what to say about Izo aside from another acid trip... but that's Takashi... It's sad to say I can't remember much of Izo aside from all the bizarre fight scenes and the reverse birth scene at the end... however I don't remember hating this movie either.
½ January 22, 2010
This movie was just way too weird for me. I like Takashi's work, but this was just out there. Creative, but unexplainable.
½ September 27, 2009
Quick review time.
Found this movie at Blockbuster in the clearance bin for about $4.
Big question is "was it worth it?" HELL NO
This movie starts out with a scene straight out of the bible. The main character is being crucified and stabbed... fast forward to present time, and he's suddenly alive and holding a grudge for his death. I sat through the whole movie only because I needed to see if this movie was ultimately worth my time and y'know what, it wasn't.
I wish I could get back the time i lost watching this pointless horrible dribble.
I could've shat something out that would've been far better to see.
AVOID THIS MOVIE.
For me to exlain this movie would be, yet another, waste of my, and your, time.
This movie gets a ...


FAIL
July 15, 2009
beautiful carnage. the music is beautiful and poetic. if you like violence with a meaning this is for you. one of my favorite Miike films.
½ July 1, 2009
Extremely odd and highly surrealistic samurai film. With dark humor and massive kills. Some effects are cool, overall needed a bigger budget for Izo's death count and the ideas formulated.
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2008
I can only judge this movie based on it's aestetics, due to the fact that the subtitles are a bit lacking and I don't speak Japanese, but even with the lack of translation, this movie still rules.
October 17, 2008
The first movie I've ever seen where it was literally two straight hours of violence. And very bad CGI.
June 27, 2008
Kurt Vonneguts SlaughterHouse 5" meets "Zatôichi the blind swordsman" on an epic and fragmented scale. Izo, is the story of one of Japans most legendary and bloody assassins. At the beginning of the film he is crucified and pierced repeatedly with spears, he spends the rest of...(read more) the film warping through time and space at random, having ethical and metaphysical discussions with and then killing virtually everyone he crosses, including Buddah and mother earth herself as he searches for a reason for his curse, which renders him unkillable and unable to control his location. This is easily the most violent film I've ever seen, not in grisliness, but sheer body count, but around the endless slashing, is a portrait of modern Japan symbolized by the reoccurring Powers-That-Be characters who represent Society/Reality/Order(often shown meeting around a board room table and discussing how to destroy Izo), and the Buddhist Hells which serve to purify souls through pain thereby readying them for reincarnation. Of all the Takashi miike stuff I've seen this is one of best executed, feeling more like a film than an experiment. Not to mention the great songs by Japanese folk singer Kazuki Tomokawa also known as "The Screaming Philosopher", due to his somewhat gruff vocal stylings. These songs may seem strange but they really do help break up the monotony of the endless waves of violence, and oblique dialog, as well as more often then not mirroring and adding emotional depth to the actions of the at turns stoic and demonic Izo(who was based on an actual samurai Lord, who was known for his violence). This is one of my favorite Takashi Miike films, while it might not be for everyone it is a must see for fans of the auteur, and those who think film can be aesthetic object as opposed to just a linear story. It's SlaughterHouse 5 except Billy Pilgrim's out to destroy the world one image at a time.
May 22, 2008
"Kurt Vonneguts SlaughterHouse 5" meets "Zatôichi the blind swordsman" on an epic and fragmented scale. Izo, is the story of one of Japans most legendary and bloody assassins. At the beginning of the film he is crucified and pierced repeatedly with spears, he spends the rest of...(read more) the film warping through time and space at random, having ethical and metaphysical discussions with and then killing virtually everyone he crosses, including Buddah and mother earth herself as he searches for a reason for his curse, which renders him unkillable and unable to control his location. This is easily the most violent film I've ever seen, not in grisliness, but sheer body count, but around the endless slashing, is a portrait of modern Japan symbolized by the reoccurring Powers-That-Be characters who represent Society/Reality/Order(often shown meeting around a board room table and discussing how to destroy Izo), and the Buddhist Hells which serve to purify souls through pain thereby readying them for reincarnation. Of all the Takashi miike stuff I've seen this is one of best executed, feeling more like a film than an experiment. Not to mention the great songs by Japanese folk singer Kazuki Tomokawa also known as "The Screaming Philosopher", due to his somewhat gruff vocal stylings. These songs may seem strange but they really do help break up the monotony of the endless waves of violence, and oblique dialog, as well as more often then not mirroring and adding emotional depth to the actions of the at turns stoic and demonic Izo(who was based on an actual samurai Lord, who was known for his violence). This is one of my favorite Takashi Miike films, while it might not be for everyone it is a must see for fans of the auteur, and those who think film can be aesthetic object as opposed to just a linear story. It's SlaughterHouse 5 except Billy Pilgrim's out to destroy the world one image at a time.
September 11, 2007
Your first time through you will probably be bored. Your second time through you will probably be trying to understand the thing.

This is the one film that I will recommend reading up on before you watch it. There are no spoilers, as the plot is not technically anything more than what is described in a synopsis. If you have a vague understanding of the multiple elements of the film they will be less difficult to interpret during the actual viewing.

Aside from a large amount of details and of course the deeper meaning of the whole thing, Izo is pretty straight forward. Izo died. He cant go to heaven, is too pissed to stay in hell and he starts killing everyone, which is frustrating to the gods. But the quality of the film lies in the details, especially since the scenes of slaughter are unusually drab for a Miike film (most likely due to the lead actor who the film was specifically written and funded for).

Only watch this if youre a die hard Miike fan, or if youve watched everything Lynch has put out.
Page 1 of 16