Yakuza Weapon (Gokudo Heiki) (2011)
(18) Running time: 105 minutes
Directors: Tak Sakaguchi, Yudai Yamaguchi
Writers: Ken Ishikawa, Yudai Yamaguchi
Starring: Dennis Gunn, Cay Izumi, Shinji Kasahara, Tak Sakaguchi
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Japanese cinema is insane, and Yakuza Weapon is further proof that the Japanese absolutely love their over the top slapstick violence, hot babes, speeches which should be cringeworthy but turn out brilliant, and dear God they love to scream and shout! Yakuza Weapon has all of the above, in blistering flamboyant measure and if you loved Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police or Meatball Machine, then you fill absolutely love this!
The plot, if you actually need one, see’s Shozo Iwaki (Sakaguchi), the Son of a Yakuza boss head off into exile after his hateful Father says he will kill him if he ever see’s him again. While in exile, Shozo becomes a skilled fighter and works as a mercenary in South America. Him and a group of trained killers wonder through the jungles taking out targets in beltering form. Shozo even announces when faced with a group of enemies “you only get hit if you are afraid of getting hit” as a hundred bullets are about to be shot at him. He then declares “I can scare landmines with a glare” and proceeds to run at the enemy, dodging all the bullets and bombs before battering them with his martial arts skills. This should give you a good indication of what this film is all about, madness on an epic scale and total disregard for reason or reality. Hell, Shozo even uses the explosion from a bomb to catapult him into the air and right into the targets headquarters!
However, his time away comes to an end once he finds out his Dad has been shot, and in true Japanese style he can’t just get shot once or twice: no, he was been shot nearly a hundred times, and still survived momentarily! Shozo returns home to find other Yakuza and criminals running things and decides to take action, however an accident leaves him in hospital, and he wakes to discover he has acquired a new set of skills. For now his mighty right arm can be transformed into a Gatling gun with a flick of the wrist, and in case he needs it his powerful left knee has become an anti tank missile launcher!
You get the idea, and yes the film is incredibly silly with tons upon tons of violence, a plot that doesn’t really justify being there, and everyone shouts and screams a lot. What I don’t get, and what I find highly amusing about these sorts of films is the way the characters bellow instructions to the viewer of what they are about to do, it makes me laugh everytime. The special effects here are questionable, the film looking very much like an Asylum of SyFy Original type movie in places, but it only adds to the fun and the clear lack of wanting to make things look good. As with all these great B-movies, the budget is just not there to meet the demand of the filmmakers ideas, but who the Hell cares, they still get their ideas on screen and we still have a jolly good time watching them.
Crazy, incredibly stupid, over the top and totally insane: Yakuza Weapon is a feast for the eyes and so much fun you would be a real spoil sport not to find some enjoyment out of it.