First Love (Hatsukoi) Reviews
March 3, 2020
Yes, it's preposterous and at times hyper-violent, but the tongue is always firmly in its cheek. Until it's cut out.
February 20, 2020
A small release, but if you're looking for something different to see, please let me recommend this one. It's not like any other film out.
February 16, 2020
Kôji Endô's thundering jazz-rock score amplifies Miike's tendency towards playful cartoon excess.
February 14, 2020
Imagine if the David Ayer of Street Kings and End of Watch had shot the first half of a gangster movie, then thrown his megaphone to Spaced-age Edgar Wright.
February 13, 2020
Sweetening up a smidgen without chilling out, this is Miike having fun, bombarding us with squirm-inducing violence while making us laugh and - ever so slightly - tugging on the heartstrings.
February 12, 2020
Intricacies of plot come second to the buffet of outlandish characters ranged about the neon-lit underworld - but the film keeps you locked into the mayhem regardless.
February 11, 2020
A double-crossing, criss-crossing caper, fatalistic and fun.
October 11, 2019
"First Love" resonates because the director and screenwriter Masa Nakamura have more on their minds than just carnage. They bring the story back to its human core, and find the beating heart at the center of all the bloodshed.
October 9, 2019
"First Love" might not ultimately mean much, but its wily mix of colorful elements - romance, organized crime, slapstick and ultra-violence - makes for a bracingly weird cinematic experience.
October 9, 2019
Often darkly funny, "First Love" is also very violent, and it's not just about gunplay. There's a beheading in the movie's first few minutes just to let everyone know, if they've somehow forgotten, that they've walked into a Takashi Miike film.
October 7, 2019
"The tone of Takashi Miike's latest film is best encapsulated by a single image: a close-up of a freshly severed head, its features wreathed in a goofy, blissed-out grin."
October 4, 2019
What keeps it from becoming a bloody farce is Miike's profound sympathy for his leads, innocents trying to find their way out of the maelstrom.
October 3, 2019
[Takashi Miike's] recent output just feels a little too produced and overseen by the Japanese government. Despite all this, First Love's warm and tender nature keeps it an endearing and heartwarming addition to the master's filmography.
October 2, 2019
Your Miike mileage may vary - but rest assured, there's no barf bag required.
October 2, 2019
"First Love" has a hyper-real nocturnal gleam that makes all this highly mannered action seem all the more comic or ridiculous, as the mood takes you.
October 1, 2019
"First Love" isn't art, by any means, but it's way more entertaining than it should be.
September 29, 2019
First Love is a celebration of the purity of romance set in a deeply unpure world.
September 27, 2019
Though it has a tight course of events and is spiked with a few surprises, First Love is far more impressive for how it collides its many characters than what it ever feels for them.