Like a Dragon (2007)
Like a Dragon (2007)
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Critic Reviews for Like a Dragon
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Audience Reviews for Like a Dragon
When done correctly, Takashi Miike can give a truly enjoyable movie experience like 13 Assassins. Unfortunately this isn't one of those movies and is a mess of a movie. Like A Dragon is about a former Yakuza underling Kiryu Kazuma, who has recently been released from prison, who's trying to find Haruka mother. The story of Like A Dragon is very poorly done despite the great material from the video game they could have worked on. It has to many characters that serve no purpose for the story and most of it story-lines go nowhere. Occasionally we do get some stupid dialogue and there are some pointless scenes in the movie itself. That's not the only problem as it has a weak build up to a boring climax. Clearly these people missed many opportunities to tell a thrilling stories, to bad they went in this direction. Now since this movie material is from the great video game franchise Yakuza, I'm surprised the violence is weak. There's not one enjoyable action scene in this movie. The special effects work against the movie as it makes it look very cartoonish. What's worse than that is the actors are really bad. Not one of them give an convincing performance and even some of the more emotional scenes are delivered heartlessly by it cast. What it does right is the attention to detailed they put to make it look exactly like the game and they do a pretty good job. Like A Dragon will definitely will disappoint fans of the series and it won't gain any new ones because of this movie. It's a missed opportunity to make a great movie from a great series, and that's what's most disappointing about this movie for any fan.
Leave it to Miike to go and make the only worthwile movie based on a videogame to this day. The script is all over the place, yet, it's faithfull to the source material in the most unique way possible, and it just happens to be a lot of fun to watch. Goro Kishitani pretty much steals the whole movie.
The eccentric Takashi Mike looks to a Playstation 2 video game by the name of Ryu Ga Gotoku (AKA: Yakuza) for inspiration. Like a Dragon is the result of this.
The thing with Miike is that abstractness and over the top elements are always expected, but nothing is certain until the viewing of the movie. The plot for Like a Dragon is NOT straightforward even though it seems it could be. There are a variety of characters, some of them being outrageous, with their own little stories that all end up mashing together. Actually, not ALL end up mashing. They may cross at small points, but that isn't exactly intertwining. Nevertheless, the film is fairly easy to follow.
Action fans will get a kick out of this picture. The over the top manga like violence has some good choreography and will entertain visually. The rocking theme song enhances these scenes as well.
The urban setting is fitting for the story. This movie is all about Yakuza and there is nothing like bars, alleys, and bath houses for all the action to take place.
Kazuki Kitamura is an appealing actor and he is a nice pick for the lead of Kiryu. He definitely has the look of a gangster. Goro Kishitani is something else. He steals the show as the maniacal villain Majima. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. He is the best character in this picture.
Like a Dragon isn't for everybody, but fans of Miike's other films will get a kick out of this.
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