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Deliriously manic and gleefully tasteless, Why Don't You Play in Hell? delivers infectious genre fun.
All Critics (39)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (31)
| Rotten (8)
A blood-soaked gang saga that builds to a madcap battle royal.
Sono is so pure of heart, so full of enthusiasm and insane imagination and unwavering loyalty to the movie gods, long after the rest of us have stopped believing, that I forgive him everything.
Delivers adrenaline, chutzpah, and fake blood by the bucket-load, continually confounding audience expectations while offering up a twisted valentine to moviemaking in general and the disappearing medium of 35mm film in particular.
A middle-aged filmmaker's tribute to the kind of epic-sized gangster-romance he used to fantasize about making.
Goofball antics and a terrific, raucous finale can't make up for the essential slackness of its repetitive comedy and punk chest thumping.
From sudden zooms and abrupt freeze frames to lengthy tracking shots, slow-motion, and CG-enhanced fantasy interludes, Why Don't You Play In Hell? boasts an aesthetic insanity to match its uninhibited narrative.
As much as the film overflows with blood, the movie's other major problem is that it overflows with contrived plot and incident.
Why Don't You Play in Hell is a frenzy of joy and colour, held together by an unrelenting disinterest in narrative logic.
Their passion and enthusiasm, no matter how misguided, remind you of how exciting the movies are.
In those moments that Why Don't You Play in Hell? lacks substance-which are numerous-Sono turns this into a virtue. He reminds us that cinema is at its most pleasurable when it touches something deep inside.
This is pure midnight movie, all energy and whimsy and cartoonish displays of violence with yakuza soldiers dressed as samurai swordsmen.
It's sentimentally absurd, violent, frenetic, trashy, romantic and filled with loud pop music.
I wouldn't even know how to begin describing this film's insanity. Let's start off by saying that, realistically, it isn't a very consistent film. It's not that the film is gimmicky or it's full of shtick, but there's so much going on here, so many story elements, strands, characters, themes and genres that there's bound to be some consistency issues here. Honestly, if it wasn't for the insanity that is the last act, I would've rated this film at three stars. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a fun, and ridiculously absurd, film, but it didn't always click to me. Like I was watching this over-the-top, tribute to the greatness of 35mm film and the classics and yet parts of the film just felt really forced to me. Granted, this is is based on a script that was 15 years old, though I doubt it was filmed as is without any revisions, but there were some parts, not many, but they were there, that just felt like the film was being strange just for the fuck of it. Not to say that there isn't a purpose, or method, to its madness, but parts of it just didn't really click to me. Let me just say that this is in the minority and I thought this movie, for the most part, was quite fun, but it doesn't really kick into next gear until, obviously, the final act when it just loses its freaking mind and becomes one of the craziest Japanese films I've seen in a long time. I love the fact that these two rival Yakuza clans are allowing their legit final battle be filmed. Like the absurdity of Hirata, working with the Muto clan to film a movie starring Mitsuko, in order for her mother, once she comes out of prison, to see her as a star, going to the Kitagawa clan and trying to convince them to allow them to film this is so absurd and funny, but it works within the film's context. The third act itself is stylishly violent and over-the-top. Like I can't put it into words, it definitely has to be seen to be believed. I wouldn't say this is the perfect movie, it's quite flawed, but the fact that it embraces the crazier side of things, is joyfully manic and fast paced pretty much makes this film a blast to watch. It's a film that simply cannot be describe accurately in any review, there'll be too much that is missed, but I'd definitely recommend it. It is quite a bit of fun.
The Japanese action dark comedy written and directed by Sion Sono was a real pleasure to watch! The screenplay was updated version of a 15-year old screenplay written by Sono, and has been described by him as having similarities with Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. Charming acting team led by Jun Kunimura with stars Shinichi Tsutsumi, Fumi Nikaido, Tomochika, Hiroki Hasegawa and Gen Hoshino was superbly cast.
The story of Muto (Jun Kunimura) and Ikegami (Shinichi Tsutsumi), the two gangsters who hate each other, gets a twist or two very early. Ikegami is in love with Muto's actress daughter Michiko (Fumi Nikaido). Muto's wife spent 10 years in jail and he attempts to make Shizue's (Tomochika) dream come true which is to have their daughter appear in a movie. To save his life, the daughter introduces Koji (Gen Hoshino), who is just a passer-by, as a movie director. Koji is running away and then requests from an independent film director Hirata (Hiroki Hasegawa) to cast Michiko as the leading actress in his film. However, everything soon goes completely wrong.
After a few years making straight-faced, confrontational works like Himizu and Land of Hope, Sono has returned to the joyful gonzo style of his epic four-hour opus, Love Exposure. It has a fresh, bubbly feeling of dark action comedy which is simply fun to watch! Perfectly directed for maximum effects! Interesting and invigorating.
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