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Sukiyake Western Django

Review: written Sep 2009

Stylised, shallow and senseless

Sukiyake Western Django

Wouldn't it be great if this film lived up to the expectations and hype, delivering a fusion of Sergio Leone Western, Quentin Tarantino movie, and Japanese Samurai movie..? Sadly, instead of finding the best qualities these movies have to offer, this effort plumbs the depths.

Instead of the style and iconic imagery of a Sergio Leone Western, we have only empty violence.

Instead of the electrifying dialogue of a Tarantino movie, we have only an echo of his overindulgence.

Instead of the depth and symbolism of a samurai movie, we have.. well, frankly all this has in common is that the actors are the same nationality.

Clearly set out as a homage to the Leone Western, we get a complete retread of the classic Yojimbo, (previously remade as A Fistful of Dollars, and Last Man Standing), set utterly anachronistically in a Japanese setting, but with Western trappings. There is nothing about the story OR the visuals that make sense, even though you might occasionally gawp at some undeniably original visual motifs. The script - well, if it ever did make sense, it is so butchered by a Japanese cast murdering the English language, it's impossible to tell.

If only they had just had the actors speak in their own language. Or if only they had just made it set in a true Western environment. If only they had Tarantino rework the script instead of give a blink and you'll miss it cameo.

Actually, forget all that. Better to say... If only they had never made the movie in the first place. Unless novel variations of violence and extremely and pointlessly surreal imagery are your thing, avoid.

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