With as many films Takashi Miike cranks out every year, about four or five, you have to wonder about the quality of his output. Shockingly, more times than not he presents something boldly original – Audition, Happiness of the Katakuris, Fudoh, “Dead or Alive”, Visitor Q…and I hear that “Gozu” is quite good as well. But with such high output, there inevitably will be the turkeys. “Full Metal Yakuza” is one of those gobblers.
If you don’t see the similarities between this movie and “Robocop,” there’s something wrong with you. “Full Metal Yakuza” tells the tale of an uber-wimp Yakuza who, after being gunned down by rival gang members, is brought back to life as a cyborg by a mad scientist who takes to wearing too much vinyl for his own good. Once our hero goes through his nightmarish flashbacks and finally gets accustomed to his new powers, he’s ready to mete out a little revenge against those that done him wrong. And by this time you’re ready to see Takashi Miike try to one-up the violence quotient in “Robocop.” You know he can do it, so you prepare yourself to have it.
But it never comes.
Instead you get a Benny Hill sci-fi action movie. If you can imagine how goofy that would be, you’re starting to get a pretty good picture of what “Full Metal Yakuza” is like. Our hero eats nuts and bolts in a bowl of milk for sustenance and is impressed by the enormous p****r given him for his rebirth. And yes, there’s plenty of sped up action. This movie gets so goofy it becomes lame. I imagine that you would have to be in a really good mood, or perhaps on a major pharmaceutical high, to get a kick out of this one. Everyone else will find themselves struggling to find the patience to cope.