Dead or Alive – Final

Movies, Thriller
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The opening caption identifies the setting as Yokohama in 2346 (by a nice coincidence, exactly 300 years ahead of Wong Kar-Wai's upcoming 2046), but the images look very much like the more laidback parts of Hong Kong right now, and the pre-credit montage celebrates the quaint, Méliès-like martial-arts fantasies made in HK in the 1960s. Mayor Woo (Cheung), with a sax-playing catamite in tow, has banned the messy business of hetero reproduction and has a team of enforcers headed by Honda (Takeuchi) to mop up backsliders. There's an underground resistance movement, complete with traitor, which gets a boost from renegade android Ryo (Aikawa). All of which is a reasonably diverting pretext for Miike to wrap up his trilogy with his consolidated thoughts on Hong Kong's past, present and future. Like its two predecessors, this is pulp genre film-making flirting with avant garde experiment; it reconfirms that Miike is the most adventurous and unpredictable 'mainstream' director in Japan, the only one who does touching love tragedies with the same sincerity that he brings to cataclysmic, phallic climaxes.

By: TR

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Cast and crew

Director: Takashi Miike
Screenwriter: Hitoshi Ishikawa, Ichiro Ryu, Yoshinobu Kano
Cast: Sho Aikawa
Riki Takeuchi
Terence Yin
Josie Ho
Tony Ho
Richard Cheung
Kenneth Low
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